2016 Obsidian Ridge Estate Cabernet Sauvignon
True Cabernet Sauvignon character stands out, opening in an aromatic riot of blackberry jam, a touch of herb, spice and coffee. The wine is full-bodied, expanding mid-palate with a dense core of black fruit, black cherries and cacao beans; the finish lingers with a perfume of dried raspberries and rose water. The distinctive tannic structure of mountain-grown Cabernet Sauvignon and Petit Verdot hints at the aging potential of this wine.
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.
The grip of California’s four-year drought began to loosen in 2016 with a wet spring. Late season rains graced the beginning of the springtime growing season, replenishing the soil and giving the awakening vines critical nourishment. With less dehydration stress, the vines had a healthy canopy and well-balanced fruit load, with fuller grape clusters and slightly larger berries. Vine health and vigor in 2016 made for a smooth growing season and harvest, resulting in more voluptuous wines, approachable in their youth but rewarding patience.
A blend of grapes from eight blocks of Obsidian Ridge Vineyard, the lush flavor and sweetness of this wine comes from fruit harvested on the steepest slopes of our vineyard, rising from 2,300 to 2,640 feet above sea level. The spicy aroma and structure is derived from fruit picked later in the season in the lower blocks of the vineyard. Young wines are aged exclusively in Tokaj oak by Kádár Hungary, the cooperage we have owned for nearly three decades. Located in Kádárok Volgye (Valley of the Coopers), this region of the Tokaj appellation has a written history of more than 1,000 years of coopering.
Alex Beloz, Winemaker