Obsidian Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon “Half Mile”
WHY WE LOVE IT
- At 2,640′ elevation, this vineyard may produce the only wine made in California at a half-mile high.
- The uniqueness of the barrels used is what sets this Cab apart from its peers.
- This Hungarian oak, Quercus petraea, possess the densest and tightest grain in all of Europe. This oak produces a slow-extraction, slow-evolution barrel, and they meld the high-acidity Petite Sirah and monolithic Petit Verdot into the broad base of rich, dark, fruit-driven mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. A multi-octave harmony is achieved, which becomes apparent particularly toward the end of the wine’s residence in barrel. This blending and time in barrel is essential to the persistence, focus, elegance, and age-ability of Half Mile.
Varietal Composition: 80% Cabernet Sauvignon 12% Petite Sirah 8% Petit Verdot
Elaboration: Following on the success and learning from the first vintages making “Half Mile,” they have now evolved this Cabernet-based reserve wine with judicious blending of both Petite Sirah and Petit Verdot. They have applied the same principles as previous years, and given this reserve wine all new barrels. 18 months in 100% New Petraea, Medium Toast Plus Barrels
Tasting Notes: 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.
2016 – 95 Wine Enthusiast
2017 – 94 Wine Enthusiast “Editors’ Choice”
In the beginning, there were just three: Michael Terrien, Peter Molnar, and Arpad Molnar. From the outset they have owned and farmed their own vineyards, coopered their own barrels, and vinified their own wines. In 2002, they made their first 98 cases of Cabernet Sauvignon. Encouraged by their heritage wine project, Poseidon Vineyard, they are individuals that have always been compelled to discover something new.
Winemaker, Alex Beloz has crafted wines here for more than a decade. More artist than his engineering degree suggests, Alex has intimate and longstanding knowledge of their vineyards and of their coopering. He raises to a high art the skill of matching oak to wine.
Obsidian Ridge has a long history of coopering. They exclusively use barrels made from Tokaj oak by Kádár Hungary, the cooperage that they have owned for nearly three decades. Located in Kádárok Völgye (Valley of the Coopers), this region of the Tokaj appellation has a written history of over 1,000 years of coopering. The remote forests of Tokaj are steep, rocky and cold; one of only a handful in the world to exclusively grow Quercus petraea: the densest and tightest grained oak in all of Europe. Highly sought after, for its enticing aromas and subtle influence, Quercus petraea enhances the aromatics of our wine and maintains the vibrancy of our mountain fruit. The result is a fresher, livelier Cabernet Sauvignon.
In their estate vineyards, they follow the Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices and are Fish Friendly Farming certified. The Tokaj forests where their barrels are coopered have been sustainably managed since 1769 by decree of the Empress Maria Teresa of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, requiring selective logging and systematic replanting. In their solar powered winery, they follow traditional and natural winemaking practices.
Above all else, they are family and employee owned—ensuring consistency, stability and long-term generational sustainability of their sources and practices.