2002 Obsidian Cabernet Sauvignon
112 cases produced
5.6 g/L titratable acidity
Obsidian Ridge Vineyard is planted at 2,600 feet atop the Mayacamas range north of
Napa Valley. This is the newest American Viticultural Area, named the Red Hills of
Lake County for the distinctive volcanic soils that define this remarkable mountain
The red soils are shot through with obsidian rocks with some boulders as large as tractor
tires and countless smaller shards that tend to shred a tractor’s tires. The steeply sloping
terroir of obsidian gravel is all that a winemaker could hope for; unrestricted drainage and
meager soil fertility mean wines with great tannic structure.
The high elevation of Obsidian Ridge Vineyard moderates daytime temperatures
throughout the summer. Whereas the heat down by Clear Lake’s shores can be
oppressive, our weather stations in the vineyard recorded only one day above 100F in
2002. The key to capturing varietal character in any wine is to accomplish ripening with
only enough heat to drive away green flavors. This first bottling from the Red Hills
indicates that the climate may be ideal for developing and preserving the distinctive
flavors of Cabernet Sauvignon.
In 2002 we harvested the young vines on September 25th at 26.9 Brix, 3.97 pH and
5.6g/L titratable acidity. The de-stemmed must was fermented in open-top bins for two
weeks and drained down to 80% new Budapesti Kadar barrels. The wine was aged 13
months and bottled in November 2003.
Obsidian Ridge Vineyard was planted in 1999 by Peter Molnar and partners.
Michael Terrien, Winemaker