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Obsidian Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon 2003

Cabernet Sauvignon from Red Hills, Lake County, North Coast, California
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    Winemaker Notes

    The 2003 bottling from our vineyard is one of the first from any vineyard in the Red Hills appellation. Although there are few wines from which to draw a conclusion, the quality of this wine indicates that the climate is favorable for developing and preserving the distinctive flavors of Cabernet Sauvignon. Classic cedar and cassis handily identify this wine as a Cabernet, while the flesh and ripe sweetness of the cult California wine style sign off on this wine's new appellation. Most importantly, it is the huge tannic presence of the mountainous growing conditions that wins the argument; this is a Cabernet of substance, bearing and pedigree.

    In 2003 we harvested the young vines on September 24th at 26.7 Brix, 3.75 pH and 5.2g/L titratable acidity. The de-stemmed must was fermented in open-top bins for two weeks and drained down to 50% new Budapesti Kadar barrels. The wine was aged 12 months and bottled in December 2004.

    Critical Acclaim

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    Obsidian Ridge

    Obsidian Ridge

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    Obsidian Ridge, Red Hills, Lake County, North Coast, California
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    Planted 2,600 feet high on the Mayacamas range north of Napa Valley, Obsidian ridge Vineyards grows mountain fruit. The steep slopes at this altitude are reddened by iron rich volcanic soils and littered with black shards of obsidian. Here in the Red Hills of Lake county the distinctive soils and mountain climate grow varietally vibrant and powerfully structured Cabernet Sauvignon.

    Red Hills

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    Located within the greater Clear Lake appellation, the Red Hills AVA is perhaps the hottest spot right now in Lake County for new Cabernet Sauvignon vineyards. Recognizing the potential of its volcanic and obsidian heavy soils, many respected growers are flocking to the area. Andy Beckstoffer, a leader in escalating the quality and recognition of Napa Valley, has already invested heavily in the area.

    Cabernet Sauvignon

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    A noble variety bestowed with both power and concentration, Cabernet Sauvignon is now the world's most planted grape variety. Inherently high in tannins and acidity, the best bottlings of Cabernet can age beautifully, with the ability to last fifty years or more. Cabernet Sauvignon flourishes in temperate climates like Bordeaux's Medoc region and forms the base of the Medoc reds, which are typically mostly Cabernet with Merlot and smaller amounts of some combination of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot. (Enjoying a great deal of success in various regions around the world, this blend is now globally referred to as a Bordeaux Blend.) Cabernet Sauvignon has enjoyed great success throughout the world, particularly in the Napa Valley, and is responsible for some of the world’s most prestigious and sought-after “cult” wines.

    In the Glass

    High in color, tannin and extract, Cabernet Sauvignon expresses notes of blackberry, cassis, plum, currant, spice and tobacco. In Bordeaux and elsewhere in the Old World you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it is typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California Washington, Argentina, Chile and Australia, you can typically expect more ripe fruit flavors upfront.

    Perfect Pairings

    Cabernet Sauvignon is right at home with rich, intense meat dishes—beef, lamb and venison, in particular—where its opulent fruit and decisive tannins make an equal match to the dense protein of the meat. With a mature Cabernet, opt for tender, slow-cooked meat dishes.

    Sommelier Secrets

    Despite the modern importance and ubiquity of Cabernet Sauvignon, it is actually a relatively young variety. In 1997, DNA profiling revealed the grape to be a spontaneous crossing of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc which took place in 17th century southwestern France.

    LSB81836_2003 Item# 81836