2012 Obsidian Ridge "The Slope" Cabernet Sauvignon
This is a spice-driven Cabernet Sauvignon with a stunning nose. Above a base of high-toned red plum and cherry cola, strong notes of cinnamon and vanilla waft from the glass. Even hints of cardamom and dry pine needles add to the mix. On the palate, the wine is rich and soft with loads of red cherry and plum juice. A vibrant acidity keeps the concentrated flavors in check through a long oak-kissed finish. This is a big wine for big occasions.
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.
Grapes sourced for “The Slope” came from our G and B blocks. They were some of the earlier grapes to ripen, and they exhibited a richness and spice that was unlike the rest of the blocks. After carefully destemming the fruit, we co-fermented the two blocks in a small tank at high temperatures to gain as much extract as possible for this big wine. We placed the young wine into a handful of Kádár "Petraea" barrels from our cooperage. The oak from these barrels was sourced exclusively for its extra-tight grain. Over the 18 months of barrel age, the aroma and spiciness of this wine became so compelling that it made this an easy choice for “The Slope."
Alex Beloz, Winemaker
Michael Terrien, Founding Winemaker