2011 Obsidian Ridge "Obsidian Ridge Vineyard" Red Hills Lake County Cabernet Sauvignon
Wine & Spirits
**Featured in the Year's Best U.S Cabernet and Blends 2014 Issue** From a vineyard planted at 2,600 feet on the volcanic slopes above Clear Lake, this is a sophisticated cabernet, the fruit as deep and dark as blackberry juice, rich yet clean and spicy, laced with mountain aromas of pine straw and dry brush. Firm and almost formidable in structure, it opens into savory layers, lengthened by refreshing acidity.
Big and rich, this needs time or a great steak to bring out its best. The color is very dark to the rim. Aromas are closed but the flavors compare to tart blackberry and black cherry with smoky accents. It has density, a layered texture that is tannic but not harsh, and a reserved power that should come out with time.
A few interesting points concerning this wine: Obsidian Ridge, founded by winemaker Michael Blaise Terrien, is a member of Tricycle Wine Co., which exclusively uses their own Kádár Hungarian oak barrels. And while this Cabernet, blended with a bit of Cabernet Franc and Syrah, hails from the cool and rainy 2011 vintage, the high elevations from 2,300 feet in Lake County afforded the grapes better ripening conditions than existed during the season, for example, on the valley floor in Napa. The winemaker's note: "Slightly dusty and herbal on the nose, this Cabernet Sauvignon shows a wonderful similarity to classic Bordeaux blends from great vintages. These refined aromas are a prelude to the silky feast of ripe plums and black cherry flavors that fan out across the palate. A soft touch of vanilla adds to the allure of this polished offering. The unique vintage conditions helped shape what may be our most balanced vintage yet."