2019 “Half Mile” Cabernet Sauvignon
“Half Mile” is a winemaker blend of select barrels to showcase the power and richness of volcanic mountain fruit. Cabernet Sauvignon is the core, with loads of dark chocolate seamed with herbs and spice. Petit Verdot provides the intense structure and color that distinguish this wine, along with a ribbon of lavender and wild black plum flavors. Petite Sirah brings freshness and roundness that give the wine a smooth and supple texture, and a touch of black licorice. Beautifully integrated oak notes of star anise, clove and nutmeg combine to create harmony and refinement.
THREE ELEVATION ZONES
The estate is planted primarily to Cabernet Sauvignon across three climactic zones ranging from 2,300 to 2,640 feet. The uppermost portion sits above the inversion layer on the steepest, rockiest slope, ten degrees warmer on average than the lowest elevation of the vineyard. As a result, vines above 2,500’ bud and ripen a month earlier and produce powerful, ripe flavors. Small blocks of Petit Verdot and Petite Sirah are planted at the highest corner of this section at 2,640 feet elevation—exactly a half mile. The lower third of the vineyard has the gentlest slope and the coolest temperatures, yielding wines that are aromatic and nuanced. At the center is the most protected site, yielding beautifully balanced cabernets.
Obsidian wines are the only cabernet sauvignons in California (perhaps the world) aged in 100% Hungarian oak barrels. Our source forest in Tokaj is planted to the same oak species used in France, Quercus Petraea, however the trees grow more slowly due to the volcanic soils, resulting in 30% higher density of the wood. These super-tight-grain barrels are low in vanillan and are toasted slowly at low temperatures to avoid imparting overt toasty notes. For the “Half Mile”, we use exclusively Kádár barrels from our own cooperage, 75% new, aged 18 months..
The “Half Mile” Cabernet Sauvignon expresses the ripeness and intensity of the highest elevation blocks. Winemaker Alex Beloz selects individual barrels of cabernet to blend with Petit Verdot and Petite Sirah to craft a classic mountain style that is structured and plush. The fermentation is completed in 8-10 days and wines are pressed immediately to avoid over extraction of the skins.
Alex Beloz, Winemaker