2013 Obsidian Ridge "Half Mile"
PROPRIETARY RED BLEND
This reserve selection boasts an initial red fruit profile with underlying chocolate cherry cordials. Hints of cedar, brown sugar, leather and plums round out the nose. Upon revisiting, even more layers are revealed, including spice with nutmeg and whole cardamom pods. This wine is surprisingly soft on the palate, with notes of red cherries, cinnamon and vanilla extract. This vintage boasts red fruit tones, versus the more typical black fruit tones of Obsidian Ridge. This is a large but still friendly wine that would love to rest in the cellar for a decade.
Fourteen years ago when Peter Molnar laid out the blocks to be planted at Obsidian Ridge, he singled out a notch at the highest elevation with the hope of making a vin de garde. At 2,640' elevation, this vineyard may produce the only wine made in California at a half-mile high. Planted with Petit Verdot and Cabernet Sauvignon, the block distinguishes itself with one variety in one year and another the next.
2013 was a beautiful vintage; idyllic would not be an overstatement. We enjoyed moderate conditions throughout the growing season, with few heat spikes and no rain. The warm and dry conditions of summer were perfect for supporting an evenly ripening crop on Obsidian Ridge. With cooler harvest weather, fruit came in ripe and ready at a leisurely pace from mid-September through mid-October. It was one of the easiest farming years in memory, with both high quality and reasonably high quantity.
Following on the success of our first vintage making “Half Mile,” we have applied the same principles and given the wine all new barrels made by our Kádár cooperage from wood sourced from the Tokaji forest in Hungary. These are slow extraction barrels, and the benefit of time is apparent only toward the end of the wine’s residence in them. By blending a significant amount of Petit Verdot into the Cabernet Sauvignon, far more than the typical 2-5%, we have learned how the monolithic nature of Petit Verdot will be perforated, cracked open, and its more poetic soul exposed if we push it and trust in its evolution. The acidity of Petit Verdot is tenacious while the fruit lingers on the vine, and the resulting structure is an essential contributor to the persistence and focus of the wine.
Alex Beloz, Winemaker
Michael Blaise Terrien, Founding Winemaker