2015 Obsidian Ridge "Half Mile"
This wine is one of the darkest wines we’ve ever made from Obsidian Ridge (and that’s saying something), with aromas of fresh blackberry juice and black cherries laced with brown sugar. The texture is velvety smooth, and the wine is packed with generous fruit. Flavors of ripe black cherries and blackberries are complemented by intriguing hints of pencil lead shavings, roasted coffee beans and the bark of cedar. This is a massive wine that still holds its balance with graceful acid and tannin through the finish.
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.
This harvest was especially memorable in the Red Hills at our Obsidian Ridge Vineyard. The "Valley Fire”, which scorched the earth across 76,000+ acres, actually began only a few miles south of our vineyard in the town of Cobb. Adding to the drama was the fact that the day of the fire coincided with our first day of harvest. We were able to get our first load safely down the mountain, but because of the extent of the blaze, we were not permitted to reenter for days. It was a nail-biting period, rampant with phone calls between the fire authorities, our vineyard managers and the winery to try and assess which way the wind was blowing. Days later, when we finally got a call from the county authorities that we could reenter escorted, we found that we were upwind of any and all smoke and fire. Our vineyards were unscathed. Cool temperatures and an unusual strong rainfall a week later helped the valiant firefighters gain the upper hand on the flames, allowing us to experience a very high quality wine harvest amidst the environmental and human toll that the fire had taken on the surrounding area.
A blend of eight blocks from the Obsidian Ridge Vineyard, the lush flavors and sweetness come from the fruit picked off the steep slopes that rise from 2,300' to 2,640'. The spicy aroma and structure comes from fruit picked later in the season from the lower blocks of the vineyard at 2,300'. A small percent of Petit Verdot was added for aromatic intensity and volume. The young wines were placed in our Kádár Hungary barrels where they aged for 20 months.
Alex Beloz, Winemaker