The aroma of this wine reminds one of a blackberry patch at the end of summer. The warmth of the ripe fruit aromas is complimented with generous notes of nutmeg, vanilla and clove. The wine is soft at entry then expands on the palate with weight and generous structure. Brown sugar compliments the black fruit flavors, making the wine rich and inviting.
**Featured in the Year's Best U.S Cabernet and Blends 2014 Issue** From a vineyard planted at 2,600 feet on the volcanic slopes above Clear Lake, this is a sophisticated cabernet, the fruit as deep and dark as blackberry juice, rich yet clean and spicy, laced with mountain aromas of pine straw and dry brush. Firm and almost formidable in structure, it opens into savory layers, lengthened by refreshing acidity. Score: 92 points -- Wine & Spirits, Dec 2014
Big and rich, this needs time or a great steak to bring out its best. The color is very dark to the rim. Aromas are closed but the flavors compare to tart blackberry and black cherry with smoky accents. It has density, a layered texture that is tannic but not harsh, and a reserved power that should come out with time. Score: 90 points -- Wine Enthusiast, Feb 2015
A wine of substance and density, firm, rich and concentrated, with a tight core of mineral and gravel-laced dark berry, espresso, cedar and graphite flavors, ending with dry, chewy tannins. Drink now through 2024. 5,924 cases made. Score: 88 points -- Wine Spectator, Jul 2015
TASTING NOTES: A rich and elegant offering, this is quintessential mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. Aromas of sweet, ripe red plums and black cherries are complimented with hints of vanilla and a pinch of cinnamon. In the mouth, the wine is full, juicy and sweet with ripe cherries, plums and tannins that are expansive yet round. Ending with a kiss of spicy oak, this wine is certainly a crowd pleaser now, but will also reward the patient collector of fine Cabernet Sauvignon.
HISTORY: Obsidian Ridge Vineyard is planted at 2,640' atop the Mayacamas range north of the Napa Valley. This is one of the newest American Viticultural Areas, named Red Hills Lake County for the distinctive volcanic soils that define this remarkable mountain appellation. The vineyard’s red soils are shot through with obsidian rock- this steep, sloping terroir of obsidian gravel is all that a winemaker could hope for. The unrestricted drainage and meager soil fertility produce wines with great tannic structure.
VINTAGE: 2012 was an outstanding vintage statewide with moderate conditions throughout the growing season. During the summer, we had an abundance of warm weather that, each night, was tempered by coastal fog and breezes. This daily cyclical temperature swing helped ripen fruit slowly and evenly, allowing us to bring in the harvest at a steady, measured pace. Normal picking dates were back, compared to the previous two years, which were much cooler and later. Fruit was ripe and concentrated due to the warm early fall weather, and crop load was a bit lower too. Truly, it was an idyllic vintage.
WINEMAKING: A blend of eight blocks from the Obsidian Ridge Vineyard, the lush flavors and sweetness come from the fruit picked off the steep slopes that rise from 2,300' to 2,640'. The spicy aroma and structure comes from fruit picked later in the season, from the lower blocks of the vineyard at 2,300'. A small percent of Petit Verdot was added for aromatic intensity and volume. The young wines were placed in our Kádár Hungary barrels where they aged for 18 months.
Alex Beloz, Winemaker
Michael Terrien, Founding Winemaker