Eleven years ago when Peter laid out the blocks to be planted at Obsidian Ridge, he singled out a notch at the highest elevation with the hope of making a vin de garde. At 2,640′ elevation, this vineyard may produce the only wine made in California at a half-mile high. Planted with Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and, of course, Cabernet Sauvignon, the block distinguishes itself with one variety in one year, and another in the next.
This blend of 84% Cabernet Sauvigon and 16% Petit Verdot blew my mind the other day. The winemaker Michael Terrien (responsible for the Kenzo Venture) crafted one of the most amazing wines I have tasted in a long time. On the nose gorgeous aromas of ripe black stone fruit leap out of the glass. The palate is framed by a gorgeous body of chocolate, black currant and a hint of cinnamon and clove (from the Tokaji barrels used to age this very small production wine – 260 cases). This wine is all about the “terroir” of this ½ mile high wine. Concentration, yet balance, are the first impression but this wine provides more than that. This resembles a first-growth Bordeaux! It is old-world meet new-world, really! This is not a wine for wimps (sorry I don’t want to ever offend anyone – I should say, not a wine for beginners), this is a wine that requires a good hour or two breathing time (I had a bottle open for 4 last night, and it was lovely by the time we polished it off) or could benefit from a year or so in the cellar. I can tell you that this one will age nicely as well. Again very limited!