2014 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
California: Napa Valley
Drops make the creek
Oh man, like Steph Curry, we’re ON FIRE 🔥 lately. Jacob Franklin, Mastro Scheidt, Rudd’s Edge Hill, and now WaterMark!?
HOW DO WE DO IT?
Answer - rugged good looks, advanced mind control tactics, and tireless begging and pleading. More or less in that order.
But like Fight Club these offers have two rules:
- Rule #1 - we don’t talk about the discount.
- Rule #2 - we don’t talk about the price.
Whatever it takes. We desperately wanted to lock this one down after tasting it. Once you taste it you’ll understand. Don’t sleep on it though. Once this sells out - and it will - there’s no second dance.
WaterMark, for those in the know, makes some dead-serious Cabernet Sauvignon. A project from Phil Steinschriber who nails down 97-100-point scores regularly, and maybe that’s where you recognize the name from, as winemaker of Diamond Creek for over 30 years - one of the most iconic, long-lasting, and straight up coveted wineries in the valley. Where the wines fetch $200+ all day long. He also made Sherwin Family for a while, beloved Spring Mountain Cabs with a cult following. Watermark is his personal project.
Seven years of age has treated this to a supple, soft, and intensely pure personality. The color remains unscathed in youthfulness with a mildly opaque crimson, radiant and lively. The nose is stacked with layers of dried red cherries, blackberries, cassis, cigar box, mocha, and plum, with gentle hints of mint and jalapeño. Mouthfeel turns very expansive and smooth as it blooms into a richer, riper wine where boysenberry jam meets hoisin sauce. Long and complex, with a subtle smokiness and freshly cracked black pepper tinge tapering off just past the minute mark. This mature beauty will sing with dry-aged cuts of beef, fancier the better, with decadent, creamy side dishes.
This is the old guard, and old school, timeless “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” winemaking at its best.
Long before Phil started WaterMark, James Laube’s “Diamonds are Forever” for Wine Spectator declared “extraordinary seems the best word to sum up the history of his Diamond Creek Vineyards… The winemaking practices - overseen by Phil Steinschriber - are altogether rustic” while concluding that they are “quite possibly among the top five Cabernet producers in California… nothing comes close to what’s happening with Diamond Creek Cabernet.”
WaterMark reflects this legacy well.
Grab all you can, Napa Cab under $50 with this kind of pedigree is a rare, rare thing.
92 Points – James Suckling
“This intricately woven blend of 93 percent Cabernet Sauvignon with touches of Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, has a wealth of toasty oak, framing blackcurrant and cherry aromas. The palate delivers a long, smooth, ripe and flavorful style with ripe blackcurrants and plums holding the finish long. Drink or hold.”
91 Points – Antonio Galloni’s Vinous
“Once again, I was quite impressed with the wines I tasted from WaterMark, the personal project of Phil Steinschriber, who has been the winemaker at Diamond Creek for nearly thirty years. The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley is a pretty, soft wine to drink now and over the next handful of years. Bright floral notes and a host of red/purplish berry fruits add to the wine’s gracious feel. Medium in body and quite giving, it has plenty to offer. Drink 2018-2028.”
The color remains unscathed in youthfulness with a mildly opaque crimson, radiant and lively
Stacked with layers of dried red cherries, blackberries, cassis, cigar box, mocha, and plum, with gentle hints of mint and jalapeño
Mouthfeel turns very expansive and smooth as it blooms into a richer, riper wine where boysenberry jam meets hoisin sauce
Long and complex, with a subtle smokiness and freshly cracked black pepper tinge tapering off just past the minute mark
This mature beauty will sing with dry-aged cuts of beef, fancier the better, with decadent, creamy side dishes.
What the Winery Says
- Phil Steinschriber
- 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 4.2% Merlot, 2.3% Cabernet Franc, 0.2% Petit Verdot, 0.3% Malbec
- Mt. Veeder & Rutherford Napa Valley
- Bottling date
- January 2017
- 27 months
- 100% new French oak
- 10 barrels