2008 Arkenstone "Obsidian" Howell Mountain Bordeaux Blend

SKU #1096020 95 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Cellar Selection* Gigantic and impossibly tannic. Don’t even think about drinking this Cabernet now. It’s tightly wrapped in astringency, yet the molten core of blackberries, currants, blueberries and dark chocolate, and a firm minerality, almost guarantees extended aging through 2016, at least. It’s a worthy followup to the 2006 and 2007.  (4/2012)

93 points Wine & Spirits

 A selection from Ron and Susan Krausz’s 25-acre vineyard on the west side of Howell Mountain, this is the first vintage of Obsidian made at the new winery on the property. The first vines went into the ground in 1998, at elevations from 1,400 to 1,650 feet and slopes from two to 50 percent; Sam Kaplan came on as winemaker in 2006, after a seven-year stint at ZD. This is an ’08 with tension and sharp, mineral-inflected tannins, a wine that doesn’t attempt to soften up its Howell Mountain provenance. The wine is full and complete, with the specific gravity of the vintage but without any excess weight. It’s dark and savory in flavor, with black cherry, tomato leaf and bitter chocolate flavors that last, predicting a long future ahead. If you open the bottle now, give it hours in a decanter before serving with braised short ribs.  (6/2012)

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Price: $114.99
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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.5