At the National Cabernet Franc Wine Competition held December 2nd, 2020, Constant-Diamond Mountain Vineyard won just about every award for their 2017 Cabernet Franc!!! They earned a Double Gold Medal Award from both the Professional Judges and People’s Choice Judges. In addition, they won Best of Class from both set of Judges in their category ($101 and up). The Professional Judges also awarded them Best of Show across all categories! That is an unprecedented achievement and this was their first year participating. You can read more about the event at:
(From Constant-Diamond Mountain Website)
The winery sits on top of Diamond Mountain in the northwest corner of Napa Valley. It was first settled in 1895 by Andras Rasmussen. After studying viticulture at UC Davis, Andras purchased 120 forested acres on the top of Diamond Mountain. He cleared 30 acres and planted the grapevines at the summit.
When prohibition came it was let go to be natural. Then in 1993 Fred and Mary Constant purchased the vineyard with the land overgrown and wild. The first wine under Philippe Melka came in 1995. The current consulting winemaker is Paul Hobbs with his first vintage being the 2009.
The next change was in 2016 when Aries Liu and Sai You became the property’s caretakers. This beautiful piece of property produces some of the most elegant, rich and powerful Bordeaux varietals Napa has to offer as well as other varietals. The wines offered today are: Rose, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Claret and their Cabernet Franc.
The 2017 Cabernet Franc
This wine from the mountain top of Diamond Mountain is a “beast” like none other! With being above the fog, the growing season produces luscious, dark and rich fruit. First on the eyes, it is so dark, almost a reddish black coloring with a medium heavy viscosity. On the nose a fragrant but soft lavender fills the senses with cherry coming in as a secondary aroma. Once on the palate, it bursts with plum, blackberry and a forest mountain earthiness. The finish is long with silky smooth tannins and a strong structure is present. The only thing missing was a pyrazine characteristic, but that was easily overlooked by the sheer enjoyment of the wine. Only 70 cases were produced and it sells for $175/bottle.
The Food and Wine Pairing
Paired with a 24 hour marinated tri-tip aged steak, then seared on the BBQ to both a medium and medium rare levels. Accompanying the meal were garlic, butter and chili pepper shrimp, cheesy potatoes, stir fried garlic asparagus, a freshly tossed garden salad and fresh sourdough bread. The beef and wine were heavenly together and made such a fabulous meal, it lasted for a couple of hours!
If you are looking for a scrumptious wine for a special occasion, look no further than this Cabernet Franc!