For reasons that remain a mystery to me Red Diamond wines are the Rodney Dangerfield of wine labels in this area. As good as they are, people just don’t know about them or give them the respect they deserve. Red Diamond is part of the larger and much better known Ste. Michelle Wine Estates in Washington State and they strive to make wine that reflects the grape varietal and where they are sourced from. One independent review came to me before I could photograph the bottle. Prior to retiring one evening I made the mistake of suggesting a glass to a houseguest only to find the empty bottle empty in the bin the following morning. Enough said, people looking for really nice wine on a budget owe it to themselves to check out the Red Diamond label.
An almost impenetrable deep ruby color in the glass the 2009 Red Diamond Cab is equally full and solid in the mouth. While it isn’t what I would call a “stylish” wine there are layers of bouquet and flavor, starting with a nose of black cherry and tobacco, leading to a progression of black fruits, candied cherries and coffee, along with the earthiness characteristic of Washington Cabernet Sauvignon. Wow, a smooth, clear progression of flavors from the beginning to the end. Tannins are evident, but people who like Cabernet won’t find them very aggressive, making this a pleasant wine alone or at the table. The one down side is a fairly short finish, not a problem if you are serving with a meal, however more length and persistence would help as a sipping wine; a minor issue, but possibly a deal killer for some folks. One thing to watch out for, I noticed the 2010 vintage is no longer sourced in Washington, instead the grapes come from California, maybe not a big thing, but it will change the character of the wine.
All in all, my response was very similar to the video from Thumbs Up Wine, on second thought, not quite that exuberant. The price they quote is a little high for Southwest Florida, enough that I might rethink the purchase, however, I found a bottle for around $10 and have seen it in the grocery aisles and wine stores ranging from $9 to $13 more often than not. Based on this Cabernet I would suggest checking out the other wines from Red Diamond too, Washington is well known for Chardonnay possibly a good white to pair with this red at your next event.