2019 “Nicholas Block” Malbec
This Malbec exhibits aromas of sun-ripened black plums with a waft of a forest breeze. Juicy flavors of fresh blueberries with a touch of cream and cocoa powder are weighted by a supple, luscious texture.
VOLCANIC VINEYARD SITE
Obsidian Ridge Vineyard sits on a volcanic flow at the northern tip of the Mayacamas Range at a half mile of elevation. Vines planted in 1999 on red volcanic soils shot with black obsidian are subject to an unforgiving, mountain climate. Low humidity, cold night time temperatures, and ultraviolet exposure 10% greater than at sea level all contribute to developing small grapes with dark color, thick skins, and intense flavors.
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. It is here at the northwestern corner of the estate where a single 2.5-acre block of malbec is planted in the shade of towering pines. This block is a favorite of local black bears, as well as it’s namesake, Nicholas Molnar.
Obsidian wines are 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 relatively high in eugenol, which emphasize herbal and spice components, and are toasted slowly at low temperatures to avoid imparting overt toasty notes. For our single-lot Malbec, we use exclusively Kádár Tokaj barrels from our own cooperage in a variety of toast levels, 40% new.
Alex Beloz, Winemaker