2012 Obsidian Ridge Estate Syrah
A beast of a Syrah, our 2012 brims with classic, savory aromas of boysenberry, concentrated blackberry jam, coffee, black pepper and tar. This Syrah is quite modern in its flavors: ripe and plush with loads of dark fruit. Yet, it also boasts hints of bacon-fat and dark-roast coffee that add to the exciting character of this wine. Youthful upon release, this Syrah will mature well for as much as a decade. The marriage of Obsidian Ridge Vineyard terroir with the Syrah grape is always intense and magical, and 2012 is no exception.
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.
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.
Our Syrah is a blend of two clones planted on the mountainside, with each clone lending distinct character to the final blend. Handpicked at the crack of dawn, the grapes were carefully destemmed to tank where a warm fermentation followed to extract the brooding flavors that come with a young Syrah. The new wine was pressed at dryness and placed in our signature Kádár Hungary barrels, where it aged for 18 months. Frequent rackings in the wine’s youth released the expressive fruit character of the wine.
Alex Beloz, Winemaker
Michael Terrien, Founding Winemaker