Diamond Mountain Fruit and Lamborghini Tractors
Ever since Britt Nichols left coveted positions with mentors Philippe Melka and Nicolas Morlet, she has treated Wine Access clients to some of the greatest Cabernet values to be found in Napa Valley. In doing so, she has sourced fruit from some of the Valley’s greatest AVAs — but never Diamond Mountain. Until now. With limited acreage under vine, much of it gobbled up by names like Lokoya, Hall, and Davies for their subscriber-only bottlings, Diamond Mountain Cabernet has been ever so slightly out of Britt’s reach. But as Britt’s renown as a winemaker has grown, so has her buying power. Britt’s 2015 Reserve is the home run she’s been waiting for. The vineyard source has been named to Wine & Spirits Top 100 list over ten times, and is known for high-end, single-site Cabernets that sell for north of $125. Britt’s 2015 Diamond Mountain Reserve drinks like one of these triple-digit gems, but at a fraction of the cost. Just $29.99 per bottle on six or more.
The last time we enjoyed a meal with Britt, we were on the patio at Angèle in downtown Napa, and she told us how her love affair with Diamond Mountain began. “About 10 years ago, I was driving up the mountain, way above the fog line. The roads there are needle-thin, full of hairpin turns, so I was driving really slowly. All of a sudden in my rearview mirror I see an old winemaker driving a tractor. The next thing I know he’s pulled up next to me, and a few seconds later he left me in the dust! All I could see was a Lamborghini logo on the back of his tractor. Right then I knew Diamond Mountain was a special place,” she said through a wry smile.
With her first release of 2015, Britt somehow bottled the audaciousness of that moment, and all the rugged power and beauty of Diamond Mountain.
The 2015 Reserve is a deep, powerful Cabernet, ripened to perfection high up above the fog line, brimming with black currant, leather, and cacao, framed by brawny mountain tannins. This is a masterful effort that will improve in the cellar, promising to be one of the greatest values Britt has delivered to date.
Editor-in-Chief, Wine Access
Contributing Writer, Food & Wine