By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 6/10/2016 | Send Email
Do any of you remember the story about the little train that could? Maybe you read it to your kids/grandkids or maybe you remember having it read to you when you were young like I do. The way I recall this story, not having heard it in a couple of decades, is there was this little, forgotten, overlooked train that had great pluck and determination. He kept with it always knowing that he could pull with the best of them. One day he got his chance, and wouldn’t you know it, he saved the day! In my mind that’s a perfect metaphor for the Cabernets of Obsidian Ridge. After selling these wines for years I feel that little train of Obsidian Ridge is just starting to get its due. Customers are finally realizing just how great of a value this wine is and how so much power and intensity can come from Cabernet not grown in Napa or Sonoma, but in Lake County, of all places.
A half a mile up on the steep hillsides of Lake County is a vineyard filled with giant veins of pure obsidian glass. This vineyard was planted with care back in 1999, in what was an old walnut grove. These stressed vines combine with the 100% Hungarian oak cooperage of Kádár, which the owners of Obsidian Ridge are partners in, to produce a singular expression of Cabernet. Full of purple floral tones and ashy volcanic material in the nose, this is very exotic — and while instantly recognizable as Cab, it has so much more complexity aromatically than most. Dense and chewy on the palate the wine is not for the faint of heart with powerful streaks of black currant, black olive, cinnamon stick, clay, more ash and lavender. Tannic and firm, this is a wine that will please all the bigger-is-better crowd but do as well on the dinner table with red meat as just about any Domestic Cabernet twice its price point. I’d decant it for a hour and serve it with any hearty meat-based dishes.