2017 OBSIDIAN RIDGE “ESTATE” CABERNET SAUVIGNON
Obsidian Ridge’s stunning Estate Vineyard ranges from 2300 to 2640 feet in elevation, and they occasionally get a dusting of snow in the winter. The 2017 vintage is an idyllic expression of Mountain Cabernet with a dense core of concentrated blackberries, crushed granite, white flowers, and black coffee.
Winery Notes, “Your nose is teased with coffee nibs, blueberries and black pepper, but a shy side emerges after time in the glass: blackberries and a gentle floral lift. Flavors of dark chocolate, coffee and fresh blackberry are carried on silky tannins-they speak clearly, but don’t shout. 2017 is a riper, fuller, but quieter vintage of our signature bottling of Cabernet Sauvignon.”
*ED’S EXTENDED NOTES:
Perpetually humbled by a bountiful Valley we call Napa, I made some really good friends back in the day; including a couple dozen or so world-famous winemakers during the 2009 Vintage — (did not know who they were at the time) I was literally working my ass off at Raymond Winery in Saint Helena, Napa Valley… back when they had a 200,000+ cases Custom-Crush operation and nearly every Winemaker in Napa Valley visited daily to work on their projects. (It was the biggest custom-crush program at the time) … As an initiated “Intern” I shoveled tons of pomace, nearly passed out a couple times in a tank, accidentally made fun of the New Flamboyant Owner (a couple times), and through sweat, lots of laughs and Epic Harvest Lunches quite a few of us connected like we knew each other for lifetimes… enter Obsidian Ridge Winemaker Alex Beloz…
… as I was leaving the Barrel Filling Station… (just got finished racking)
“Hey Edward, you OK?”, said Alex, “What’s going on man”… (with a concerned smile/grimace)
“What’s Up Alex” I said, “Dude, I had to leave Coombsville today at 5:30am and hardly made it here in time to punch in at 7:00am… between the rain and fog and trucks on the road, I’m surprised I’m still alive… oh, and it’s only 11am and I already did 3-punch downs, 3-pump-overs, stained my new white shirt, and just barrel-filled/racked your wine”… “Dude, your wine is like glowing blue and purple Alex, and it looks strange; it smells really good, but is there something wrong with your juice bro? And on top of that, what’s wrong with you today? You are usually smiling ear-to-ear, and today you have a strange grimace. Are you OK?”
Alex then said… “First of all, welcome to Harvest in Napa Valley, second, you should not wear a new white shirt working in a winery, and third… that’s the Vineyard… it’s a really special vineyard, and that blue-purple color is normal because it’s mostly Obsidian rocks under the vines… and yea, I’m slightly upset because today one of our ATVs got stuck in the mud up there, and we couldn’t get it out… are you going to lunch?”
I said, “Yea I’m always hungry – let’s go eat man… What is Obsidian by the way? My wife mentioned it a couple times, something about arrowheads” We started walking with our heads-down towards the Harvest Lunch Area. And then my wife’s uncle approached us (Tio Chema), and he was just covered in wine, literally head-to-toe drenched in juice… always smiling of course. I think he has like 3 or maybe 4 dimples, so he’s always smiling.
“What’s Up Tio? You OK?” I said laughing… even his hat was dripping wine.
“Hey guys, a pump blew-out during a transfer, so I got a little wet” said Tio Chema, “You guys heading to lunch?” (in his deep Mexican accent)
“Yea man (lol — still laughing because he was so wet) , I’m starving, what’s for Lunch today Tio?”
“It’s LOBSTER TODAY guys. I’ll meet you guys over there” my uncle said…
By the Way Alex… if this gets back to you, you owe me a couple cases of wine bro! Cheers! Edward Stephanick ~ your wine broker and friend