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News

Louis Roederer Champagne to buy Diamond Creek Vineyards

Roederer is about to add another gem, Diamond Creek Vineyards in Napa Valley, to its sparkling portfolio.

Champagne house Maison Louis Roederer is to buy Diamond Creek Vineyards in Napa Valley. The acquisition comes less than a year after Louis Roederer bought Merry Edwards in Sonoma County.

Xavier Barlier, vice president of marketing and communications at Louis Roederer, told the San Francisco Chronicle that the purchase was “a long-time dream for the Roederer family”, and that the late founders of Diamond Creek – Al and Adelle ‘Boots’ Brounstein – had been friendly with the Rouzaud family, owners of Roederer, since the late 1990s.

According to the same report, Boots Brounstein had been talking about a possible sale with Roederer’s president Frédéric Rouzaud before she died in 2019, aged 92.

Diamond Creek was founded in 1968 by Al Brounstein of Minnesota, who became the first California winemaker to charge $100 for a bottle of wine. Boots Brounstein once said her husband had fallen in love with wine later in life, taking his first wine class aged 40.

One of his great innovations was to plant on Napa’s slopes, rather than on the valley floor, as was done at the time. The Brounsteins went further, creating vineyards according to soil type. Today, Diamond Creek is one of the region’s most highly regarded wineries and is devoted exclusively to Cabernet Sauvignon.

The Diamond Creek acquisition is just the latest for Louis Roederer, which now has a significant portfolio of prestige wineries. The company owns Deutz in Champagne, Château Pichon Longueville Comtesse de Lalande and Château de Pez in Bordeaux, Domaines Ott in Provence, Delas Frères in the Rhône Valley and Ramos Pinto in Portugal, along with Roederer Estate in Anderson Valley, California and Merry Edwards, Sonoma.

[California] is a region that has created notoriety, quality and very interesting developments,” Rouzaud told Le Figaro in 2019. “Contrary to what has been achieved in France where notoriety is based on appellations, the approach to wine is freer in the United States. You are free to plant your vine wherever you want. The market will be the sole judge.”

Louis Roederer also bought its first hotel, the Christiania in Val d’Isère in the French Alps in 2018.

“Ultimately we should be able to create a wine tourism network of hotels from our own estates,” Rouzaud told Le Figaro. “There is great potential.”

Louis Roederer was founded in 1776 and has been in the same family since the 19th century.

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History

Founded in 1968, Diamond Creek is California's first exclusively Cabernet Sauvignon Estate Vineyard. Visionary pioneer Al Brounstein defied modern conventions and planted Bordeaux varietals on secluded Diamond Mountain. The three vineyards produce a small amount of long-lived wines that are elegant with great depth and richness, honored and cherished by connoisseurs the world over. Taste the differences imparted to the wine by the distinct soils and micro-climates of Diamond Creek Vineyards.

©Diamond Creek Vineyards. All Rights Reserved.

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Vineyards

Our mountain canyon creates a diverse weather pattern. Cooling afternoon breezes from the ocean on the West mix with the Napa Valley heat on the East. Diamond Creek meanders through our vineyards and separates them into three distinct soil types; volcanic, gravelly and red rock.  Our cabernets include a small amount of merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot.

Typically, the harvest of our vineyards takes place over a month period. Because we want to pick each section of the vineyard at its optimum ripeness, we have as many as 15 to 20 different pickings. As the wines age in barrels we taste their development. If the barrels from one pick of a vineyard are particularly distinctive, we will bottle them separately as a microclimate wine

 

Red Rock Terrace

Red Rock Terrace, a warm microclimate, is 7 acres of north facing vineyard.  The red tinted soil is high in iron content.  The wine from Red Rock Terrace is the most accessible and earliest drinkable of all our wines.  

Our winemaker describes Red Rock Terrace as "having velvety tannins, rich and well balanced, medium dark ruby color with cherry, mint and black currant flavors."

 

Gravelly Meadow

Our second coolest micro-climate is our five-acre Gravelly Meadow vineyard. Originally a pre-historic river bed, this stony, gravelly soil drains rapidly and the vines struggle for moisture. 

Gravelly Meadow is our lowest yielding vineyard. The wines are described as "earthy, cedary, jammy and ripe blackberry with a spicy expansive finish." 

 

Volcanic Hill

Volcanic Hill is comprised of 8 acres of south facing hillside vineyard.  It is the warmest of all our micro-climates.  The color of the soil is gray, and the consistency is that of fluffy, volcanic ash, originally deposited from the eruption of Mt. Konocti 8 million years ago.  

Volcanic Hill is the longest lived of our wines. Our winemaker describes these wines as "full bodied, loaded with intense ripe berry fruit, cassis, violets and a smoky richness, finishing with good length and firm tannins." 

The Volcanic Hill bottling includes a small amount of the extra-ordinary Petit Verdot grape.

 

Lake Vineyard

This tiny ¾ acre vineyard nestled by our lake is the coolest of our microclimates because of the cool Pacific breezes that travel down the Russian River corridor each afternoon.  

The grapes require a long hang time to ripen, and when they do ripen, they make an exceptional wine.  In fact, Lake wines have been produced only ten times since 1972.

 

©Diamond Creek Vineyards. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

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Inside information

© All Rights Reserved. Diamond Creek Vineyards

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Highlights

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Wine Moments

Here you can see wine moments from tastingbook users.    or    to see wine moments from your world.

 Christer Byklum , Wine Writer (Norway)  tasted  1 wines  from  Diamond Creek Vineyards . In a tasting of  51 wines 

1998 Château Cheval Blanc; Ruby, pink rim, floral, violets, mint, layered, again impossible to describe fully. Close to perfect balance, playfull and stil relaxed acidity. tannins soft, stunning texture, mouthwatering, just ads and ads with air, incredible length, never ending, I keep raising the score on this as it keeps unlocking more and more secrets. I wish I had cases of this one. 98


Served blind, I was sure it was Petrus, as was most of the table. Wine of the evening!

23d 9h ago

 Achim Becker / Wineterminator.com, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Diamond Creek Vineyards . In a tasting of  25 wines 

A large California Cabernet tasting with wines like Martha's Vineyards 1974 and 1975, Eisele Vineyard 1975,1978,1979,1985 etc.

1y 3m ago

 K. Han, Wine Writer (United States)  tasted  2 wines  from  Diamond Creek Vineyards . In a tasting of  20 wines 

California 1974 tasting / Heitz Martha’s Vineyard Cabernet 1974


 Possibly the most famous American wine worldwide, eucalyptus laced, hauntingly beautiful. Where Mayacamas is the classicist, Heitz is also classic in style, but iconoclastic, akin to virtually nothing else you will experience. Eucalyptus, cherries, coffee and game abound on the nose.


On the palate, there is a medley of fruit and spice, blackberries and hazelnuts next, with a slight honeyed element towards the smooth, silky finish. This wine is well nigh timeless, the inner mouth complexity past the mid palate on to the finish is just remarkable. I believe this has a further several notches to climb -- its uniqueness married with its brilliance continue to astound. 99 Points

2y 5m ago

 Fernando Pessoa, Pro (Spain)  tasted  1 wines  from  Diamond Creek Vineyards . In a tasting of  11 wines 

On April 22 Antonio Galloni and Vinous hosted 2010 Napa Valley: An Epic Vintage at the NoMad Rooftop, one of the most striking locations in New York City.

3y 4m ago

 Achim Becker / Wineterminator.com, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Diamond Creek Vineyards . In a tasting of  21 wines 

“California Wine momuments from 1941 to 1987.”

3y 8m ago

 Michel Jamais, Wine Writer (Sweden)  tasted  1 wines  from  Diamond Creek Vineyards . In a tasting of  9 wines 

“When I first heard of the white wine from Screaming Eagle, I was quite surprised. Although I know that some parts of Napa Valley can produce world class wines from Sauvignon Blanc (or at least, as good as a wine from Sauvignon Blanc outside Bordeaux can be), I couldn't imagine that Screaming Eagle would ever make one.

"Well, when we studied the vineyard, we knew we had to replant it in a much better way, we couldn't just continue to make the wine in the same way as Jean Phillips and her winemaker Heidi Peterson-Barrett did, we had the worlds eyes on us", he said to me a few weeks ago.
"And we found a spot in the northwestern corner of our vineyard, that I found to be much better suited for Sauvignon Blanc than Cabernet Sauvignon or Franc, and Merlot actually doesn't perform very well in our vineyard", he added.
The Sauvignon Blanc grapes were never intended to be a commercial wine, if they ever should make it themselves, and if so, I was to be used for PR tastings and dinners, and as a giveaway.
But with the 2010 vintage, the now sole owner Stanley Kroenke, decided to sell it on the mailing list. It's now even more rare and sought after than the red Screaming Eagle. And it is of course the talk of the day since very people have tasted it, or even seen a bottle or a picture of a bottle. ”

4y 18d ago

 John Kapon / CEO / Ackerr Merrall & Condit, Pro (United States)  tasted  1 wines  from  Diamond Creek Vineyards . In a tasting of  25 wines 

“We started out with a magnum of 1979 Deutz Cuvee William Deutz, courtesy of THE Cellar, as a matter of fact. It was a fantastic magnum, absolutely delicious, toasty and creamy. Its nose was light yet meaty and had superb musk. The finish was long and dry, elegant and stylish. There was still nice richness and great bubbles to this excellent bubbly. Mark admired its ‘toasty and yeasty’ qualities as well, and Michael found it ‘very fine.’ It flirted with being outstanding but ultimately fell a hair short, but this was still a delicious bubbly!”

4y 1m ago

 Ray Thomsen, Wine Writer (Switzerland)  tasted  1 wines  from  Diamond Creek Vineyards . In a tasting of  8 wines 

“Istvan Szepsy is considered as a king of sweet Tokaji makers due to the reputation gained from his extra ordinary sweet concentrated wines. This Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos was only made around 8000 bottles.
This clear, intense and golden coloured wine has incredibly intense spicy nose with apricot marmalade and botrytis. As 1999 vintage is known from big acidic structure in Tokajis, it makes no difference in this wine. Crisp acidity cuts delicately oily lusciously sweet velvety texture. Honeyed overtones with touch of jasmine and ginger. Very intense fruitiness and rich botrytis flavours combined with moderate level of alcohol are all adding an extra dimension to this immortal wine. 96 points

4y 3m ago

 Georg Linde, Wine Writer (Germany)  tasted  1 wines  from  Diamond Creek Vineyards . In a tasting of  75 wines 

“A massive 1982 Vintage tasting!”

4y 10m ago

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