"Ashes & Diamonds “Merlot №1"” is an opaque maroon at the dining table but more of a cranberry ink in daylight. The nose is warm and opulent, like pulling a cashmere sweater of toasted blueberries over your head and curling up in a plum sauce blanket. It tastes like ripe black cherries wrapped in clove, held by a hem of zinging acidity, with a just-ever-so chocolatey finish and tannins that hang out like good friends long after the party’s over. Well balanced, walking a tight rope between bold and bright, A&D’s “Merlot №1” is mature but mischievous with a personality of its own."
"These overt midcentury modern architectural tributes align with the style of Ashes & Diamonds wines. They harken back to the earlier days of Napa’s industry, when the wines were more moderate in alcohol, and therefore believed by many to be more approachable and food-friendly."
"Ashes & Diamonds crafts approachable, food-friendly wines that are lower in alcohol and thus more old world in style—on theme with the winery’s mid-century modern architecture and design, they harken back to the early days of Napa’s wine industry—so it’s only fitting that they have a culinary component to their tastings."
"If you want to learn about wine before you drink it, this summer’s third annual Ashes and Diamonds Winery’s “A&D Q&A” speaker series is a great place to start. Events include A&D’s own stellar winemaking team, led by Steve Matthiasson and Diana Snowden Seysses, in conversation with winemaking luminaries[.]"
"This brand new tasting room is a beautiful addition to Napa Valley. You can choose from a variety of tasting experiences – go for the lunch option, and make sure you try their whites."
"The intent is to make head-turning, low-intervention wines that stay true to California’s terroir. 'Many decide to make a wine and then go look for the site. It’s the opposite for us. We find the site and then go make the wine[.]'"
"... we aimed for a lighter and more current take, fitting to the industrial nature of wine production and more residential scale of the hospitality,"
"We live in a very humbling period where we're turning back to the vineyards, to something more holistic... And it's not something that can be explained through analysis; it's something only your heart can tell you. "
"These vitis vinifera icons excel at crafting thoughtful wines that respect history and biodiversity in both vineyard and cellar. After tasting through the lineup, consider us akin to screaming fans at the front row of a Drake concert; we are fully bought-in."
"The basic concepts are the same as any other winery in the Valley—come see the vineyards and taste the wines—but there’s something incredibly refreshing about Ashes & Diamonds."
"'While there are nods to Albert Frey in the portholes and Donald Wexler’s folded plate roofs of the midcentury Palm Springs postcard fantasy, we aimed for a lighter and more current take fitting to the industrial nature of wine production and more residential scale of the hospitality,' Bestor explains. Khaledi knew Bestor from his first job, at the Beastie Boys’ record label, and the fanzine Grand Royal, where she was resident architect, and he says he admires her work’s 'unwavering spirit of possibility and streak of rebellion.'
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“Their tasting room is beautiful: midcentury modern, open-air. This bottle rolled off my tongue: so smooth and silky and juicy.”
“We’re really trying to dive into what Napa Cab in the ’60s and ’70s tasted like,” Matthiasson comments. “We picked it at 21.5 Brix [the 2015 average in Napa was 26, or about 15% ABV], but we let it get real hot at fermentation because they didn’t have temperature control then. This wine’s a time capsule.”
"How affirming it was to taste the Ashes & Diamonds lineup. The proof is in the bottle with this project: as the old saying goes, these wines 'taste like more....' Truly, an homage to Napa Valley wines I’ve tasted from the ‘60s and ‘70s, particularly those of Inglenook and Beaulieu."
“That voice [of the wines] speaks softly yet also with authority: That flavor and complexity can come from grapes harvested at lower ripeness levels than is the current fashion in Napa Valley and throughout California. Soft, juicy, sumptuous wines with lavish oak are the antithesis of what Khaledi wants. Matthiasson and Seysses are wired to not produce such wines, instead seeking elegance, varietal character unobscured by ripeness and overt oak, and an acid snap that makes for refreshment and compatibility with meals.
It’s an old-school approach to New World wines, and a welcome one."