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A Few Reviews & Scores

Robert parker Logo  WaterMark Reviews and Scores

    2014 WaterMark Cabernet Sauvignon Mt. Veeder 


   Release Price $78, Drink Date 2019 - 2034.  Reviewed by Lisa Perrotti-Brown Issue Date 31st Jan 2019  The Wine Advocate: Made of 100% Cabernet, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Mt. Veeder has a deep garnet-purple color and slowly evolving scents of incense and stewed tea over crème de cassis, black berry preserves, earth, lavender and bay leaves. Medium to full-bodied with great intensity and depth, the lively palate has firm, grainy tannins and finishes very long with a menthol lift. Producer: WaterMark From: USA , California , North Coast , Napa Valley Color: Red Type: Table Sweetness: Dry Type: Table Variety: Cabernet Sauvignon

2016 WaterMark Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veeder

Rating 93+

Release Price $78 Drink Date 2019-2033 Reviewed by Lisa Perrotti Brown Sept 30th 2019 The Wine Advocate. Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Mount Veeder opens with Black Forest cake, espresso and cedar chest scents over notes of blackcurrant cordial, blueberry compote and licorice with a waft of lavender. The palate is medium to full-bodied with generous black fruit and a firm, fine grained texture, finishing long and layered

vinous scores watermark 92 points

Antonio Galloni Tasting Date: December 2018

93 Points

The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon (Mt. Veeder) is gorgeous. Crafted by Phil Steinschriber, longtime winemaker at Diamond Creek, the WaterMark Cabernet is long on class and Mt. Veeder personality. Smoke, incense, plum and a host of earthy notes all run through this appealing, classically mid-weight Napa Valley Cabernet. With a tiny production of under 250 cases, this is one of the hidden jewels in Napa Valley. Hints of rose petal, cinnamon, mint and sweet red cherry linger on the close.

-- Antonio Galloni tasting window 2019 - 2029 $78.0

Antonio Galloni Tasting Date: December 2018

2014 WaterMarkCabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley)

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, the 2014 has plenty to offer.

Antonio Galloni2018 tasting window 2018- 2028  $76.00

Antonio Galloni. Tasting Date: September 2016

92 Points Drinking window 2018-2028

The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon from WaterMark is a classic Mt. Veeder wine. Intense red cherry, licorice,scorched earth, iron, white pepper and savory herbs all give the 2013 its distinctive personality. Powerful yet medium in body, with a good dose of Napa Valley classicism in its structure, the WaterMark Cabernet is one of the sleepers of the 2013 vintage

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94+ Points

Watermark 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon (Mount Veeder).

The 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon from Watermark is a classic Mt. Veeder wine. Intense red cherry, licorice, scorched earth, iron, white pepper and savory herbs all give the 2013 its distinctive personality. Powerful yet medium in body, with a good dose of Napa Valley classicism in its structure, the Watermark Cabernet is one of the sleepers of the 2013 vintage.

BTI TASTINGS scores WaterMark 93 Points
James Suckling WaterMark 14 Napa 2019062



We previewed this wine for the Wine Scout team recently, and the normally garrulous room fell silent. The consensus was that this wine tastes like a wine that costs $150 or more under other, more famous labels. If you are a fan of Diamond Creek, Lokoya (Wildcat Vineyard's neighbor), Dunn, Togni, Cade, or Colgin, you should treat yourself to a case of this beauty - it will age 15-30 years like it's a walk in the park.

Every piece of this expressive, expertly sculpted wine is in place: firm acidity and tannin, dark "mountain" color, deep cassis fruit, dark cocoa powder, sanguine, iron-like aromas, not to mention cigar wrapper, bay leaf, and the redwood and manzanita underbrush of the Mayacamas mountains. Bravo Phil! LIMITED.


We had the sincere pleasure of sitting down with Diane Steinschriber. What?  You recognize that last name?  So did we. That is because her husband, Phil Steinschriber, has been winemaker at Diamond Creek Vineyards for 25 years, making some of the Napa Valley’s most collected and beloved Cabernets under the Volcanic Hill, Red Rock Terrace and Gravelly Meadow geologically identifiably different vineyard blocks.  Please, read on.

Our niche has always been to find wines as they are being released in their inaugural vintage or, if small enough in production, while they are still very under the radar. Case in point, we named a club after it (Under the Radar club) and then had to start another club for the higher-end versions (Kahuna club).  Today we found Watermark.  We barely needed to taste this wine; smelling it put us in an utter trance.  You see, high above the valley floor on the western flank of Napa Valley is the Mount Veeder sub-appellation, home to wines with intense structure and deeply layered aromatics exhibiting aging qualities recognized globally.  At 2000 feet above sea level, the skins of the berries are rendered dense and their dark hue makes it difficult for the sun’s rays to penetr
ate producing fruit that is deep and luscious, powerful and, in this case sublime.


     Back Room Wines

WATERMARK Cabernet Sauvignon  Mt. Veeder, Napa Valley 2012  $65

From the northwest corner of Napa take Mt Veeder Road ten minutes and 2000 feet up and you'll drive by "Wildcat Vineyard." The vineyard is impressive in its ruggedness. I drove by it on my way to Mayacamas Winery and asked, "what's the vineyard back there?" I could just tell it would make good Cab. The Watermark is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from "Wildcat." 
Watermark is owned/made by Phil Steinschriber, long-time (and still) winemaker for the esteemed  Diamond Creek Vineyard. Grapes cold soak 4 days before ferment, barreled down to 100% new French oak to finish fermentation. Dang, this is BIG & RICH, showing dark berry and cherry liqueur, cocoa, faint soil/truffle/tobacco. Boasts bountiful "mountain tannins" that quickly soften with air. The rich fruit soaks up all the new barrel so it doesn't taste particularly "oaky." Relatively speaking, an outstanding value. 335 cases made.

BTI scores WaterMark 91 Points

 From  a Customer:

My wife and I have been fan's of Phil's for a while now, since Rick Beard introduced us to his 2005 vintage, back when Watermark was at the top of our budget and Diamond Creek was but an aspirational brand to which we could only admire from afar, but not afford. Over the next few years, I would ask Rick

for more wine, but he said it was unavailable - as in not being made. I have had a the good fortune of trying some Diamond Creek Gravelly Meadow a few times and was blown away.

 Keep in mind, i have no business providing technical reviews of wines, so forgive me for any feedback

 We love all 3 wines you sent. The '11 was a pleasant surprise having avoided the bell pepper taste that affected so many 2011 offerings from the valley floor. The '12 is a jaw dropper - and a wine that stays hidden when my brothers come over, if you know what i mean. This isstrictly for my wife and I by the fire pit. The '10 already feels like and old friend ready with a warm hug. We had bought 2 cases from Rick before he signed off at Groezinger's and have gone through a good portion of it. This batch helped replenished my stock. It is drinking so well right now. This is the wine i pour for people when i want them to know why i love Napa Valley so much. Thank you for being so accommodating with my request. I wish

 you two the best and good luck this summer and into the fall



Dear Ray's Customers,
Good afternoon to all! Now I'll be the first to admit that we've offered quite a few examples of Napa Cabernet over the past year; however, today's selection is so special and so rare that we truly couldn't wait even another week to release it, as Rick, myself and the gang truly feel this King of the Big Reds is ONE OF THE BEST OF THE BEST in all things Napa Cabernet, and has become a "Cult Classic" over the past decade!
Before we unleash said beast, we must look at the term "cult wine", or more specifically, "cult wines" from Napa Valley, which are not only hard to procure, but even harder to afford. When one thinks of such wines, names such as Diamond Creek, Harlan, Screaming Eagle, Caymus and Colgin all take the cake in terms of not only quality, but price tags as well (current Diamond Creek Cabs have release prices of roughly $225 PER BOTTLE!). With that in mind, roughly twelve years ago we fortuitously happened upon a gorgeous example of Cabernet Sauvignon from Diamond Creek's own winemaker Phil Steinschriber, the Ricochet Napa Valley 2002, which sold for nowhere near the $225 mark, but at a fraction of the cost, for under $50 per bottle!

Producing only 320 cases of the 2002 vintage, we sold out of our allocation in less than 24 hours, and when we released the 2003 vintage, which was renamed under the "Watermark" label and produced even fewer cases (240 to be exact), we sold out of that in a flash as well! Over the next few years, the story remained the same, as we sold out of our small production allotments from Watermark each and every vintage. Not having any allocation for the past three years, we learned that Wisconsin was getting one small allocation of the new 2013 vintage. Well, after a mere sip of this new vintage rock star, we nearly fell off our chairs in amazement, and not only did we order as much as we possibly could, but Ray's has snagged 100% of Milwaukee's Entire Wine Shop Allocation!
Back and better than ever with ONLY 250 CASES MADE IN TOTAL, here comes the TRULY RARE GEM known as
Watermark Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
95/100 - Our Score: Legendary Diamond Creek winemaker Phil Steinschriber has done it yet again, concocting an approachable, yet thoroughly age-worthy, Napa Cab tour de force! A massive wave of cassis and black cherry notes roar out of the glass, while an eruption of mocha, raspberry, blackberry and even some vanilla flavors unfold seductively, each sip begging for just one more! On a final note, it's no secret that we love great Cabs, not to mention small, independent operations that churn out exquisite wines at fair prices, so to have a Napa beauty handmade by a winemaker of Phil Steinschriber's caliber for under $100 per bottle (luckily this isn't even close to $100 per bottle!) is truly a rare diamond in the rough! Plus, with a silly small 250 cases made in total, it's really quite special to know that you are enjoying one (or more!) of only 3,000 bottlesproduced!

The Napa Wine Project - Review


WaterMark Wine Review by Dave

WaterMark Wine is a small longtime under-the-radar boutique winery run by long time Napa Vintner Phil Steinschriber. Phil is also winemaker for the much coveted Cabernet Sauvignons of Diamond Creek Vineyards on Diamond Mountain and because of his long history (35+ years) working in the wine industry in the Napa Valley has access to extremely good fruit sources. He has been around the beverage industry ever since he was a child. He later worked as a wine buyer which ended up in part being the path to fueling his interest in wine.

He earned his degree in Agriculture Chemistry from Fresno State and then after a short stint in Israel making California style kosher wines, and as winemaker for a winery in New Mexico he moved to the Napa Valley and worked for a now defunct winery for several years. In 1991 he became winemaker for Diamond Creek Vineyards and has since made his mark for this winery, often earning top scores for his Cabernet’s.

The WaterMark wines are layered and complex and need we mention available at much less the cost then some of the wines he makes for other premium wineries. Phil’s wines are all hand produced. They are made in a Bordeaux-style. The grapes for the 2005 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon were harvested by hand in the very early morning, then cold soaked for 4 days, pressed sweet for the free run juice and then fermented. No pumps are used, punch downs are carefully regulated and are done less often in the later stages of fermentation to help ensure a wine that is less tannic. All aging is done in small French Oak barrels.

We met Phil many years ago at a tasting and then followed up with Tim Mertz who worked at A Dozen Vintners (before they closed) and has helped Phil with a number of harvests. We were fortunate to be able to taste WaterMark’s inaugural 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon with Tim – now here is a wine worth getting your hands on!

Napa’s secret and sometimes not so secret recipe is combine unique high end terroir with a long time well-regarded wine maker veteran; you have the ingredients for success in the wine industry. The 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon is all about the fruit; you can tell this as soon as you breath in the aromas on the bouquet. Aromatically this wine is big with raspberry and spice components including black pepper. The palate continues with raspberry and cherry with notes of chocolate, cloves, cinnamon and subtle nuances of tobacco, vanilla and toasted oak to round out the finish. Speaking of the finish; it is clean and very long. There is a lot packed in this wine, both in fruit and spice flavors.

The 2012 Mt. Veeder grown (vineyard at 2,000 feet) WaterMark is dark ruby in the glass with medium viscosity. Aromatically it reveals notes of blueberries, darker cherries and a dark cedar box note with hints of mushroom. A nice intensity of fruit shows on the mid palate through to the finish. Both oak and grape tannins linger with a touch of toasted oak. The tannins are well integrated and do not dominate. A good food wine that over delivers for the price.

Watermark focuses entirely on Cabernet Sauvignon with the one wine mentioned above as well as a Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. Their wines have good acidity and backbone structure and will age nicely for a number of years. Their first vintage was in 2004 and production is tiny at merely several hundred cases of each wine. As a result the easiest way to find their wine locally is to pay ACME Fine Wines in St. Helena or Backroom Wines in downtown Napa or visit: www.watermarkwine.com







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