2013 Obsidian Ridge "The Slope" Cabernet Sauvignon
This year’s Slope is a stunning example of hillside-grown Cabernet Sauvignon in a near-perfect vintage. In the glass, the wine opens up with high-tone aromas of cherry cordials and the juice of ripe, red plums. The wine is bright and persistent on the palate, with flavors of red cherries and baking spices. Though full-bodied, its firm acidity accentuates the varietal character and carries the wine to along, vibrant finish with just enough hint of toast from the tight-grained oak.
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.
Drought 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.
In 2013, grapes sourced for "The Slope" came from our C and D block, the steepest sections of Obsidian Ridge. 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 fermented the wines separately in tanks at higher temperatures to gain as much extract as possible for this big wine. We placed the young wines into a handful of Kádár "Petrea" barrels from our cooperage; the oak from these barrels was sourced exclusively for its extra-tight grain. The two lots were eventually blended together and barrel-aged for 19 months.
Alex Beloz, Winemaker
Michael Blaise Terrien, Founding Winemaker