Arkenstone Vineyards Releases 2007 Obsidian Napa Valley

Oct 27, 2010, 11:00 ET from Arkenstone Vineyards

ANGWIN, Calif., Oct. 27 /PRNewswire/ -- Arkenstone Vineyards, a producer of ultra premium wines, today announced the release of the 2007 Obsidian Napa Valley ($120). Fresh off the inaugural releases of its 2006 Syrah, 2006 Obsidian and 2007 Sauvignon Blanc, the new Cabernet-based blend is sourced from the winery's vineyard high atop Howell Mountain.

"This is a magnificent wine that presents all the hallmarks of a top-tier Napa Cabernet blend, with the intensity and concentration of our Howell Mountain fruit," said Sam Kaplan, Arkenstone Vineyards' Winemaker. "The 2007 vintage produced grapes that were very small and concentrated, laying the foundation for a mouth-filling, big, multilayered wine with great balance. Above the fog, continuous sunny days led to perfect, even ripening and our high elevation kept temperatures cool enough to maintain great acidity throughout the ripening process."

Literally and figuratively, Arkenstone has been working from the (under) ground up.  According to Arkenstone co-proprietor Susan Krausz, she and husband Ron worked long and hard to create a base from which to launch the highest quality wines. A strong foundation in the vineyards and a state-of-the-art winery cave system is the result of years of careful planning, preparation and follow-through.  A nearly finished tasting room and office complex above ground completes this underpinning.

"Operating solely on word-of-mouth since the 2006 releases last year, there has been increasing recognition that something very special has been going on in this location," said Krausz.

Housed primarily in spectacular underground caves built deep into the hillside on the estate, this Domaine winery is able to maintain a small footprint on the site, while taking full advantage of the natural contours of the land. The cave includes fermentation halls, labs, first and second year barrel storage caves and hospitality areas. Arkenstone will officially showcase its new 25,000 square foot caves in Spring, 2011 when the tasting room is set for completion.

"From the first vine planted, we have used all organic practices in the vineyard," said Krausz. "This year marks the 13th year of cultivation and throughout that time we've fine-tuned all aspects of the vineyard. This has resulted in mature vines with consistent characteristics that lead to full, balanced and distinctive wines. With the release of the 2007 Obsidian, we have created a wine that achieves complexity, elegance, brightness and balance, as well as an unmistakable terroir experience."

Arkenstone wines are now served in restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area, including La Toque, Bouchon, Epic Roast House, Masa's and French Laundry, and in New York City, including Per Se, BLT Prime and Quattro at the Trump Soho Hotel. A more complete listing of restaurant availability can be found on the winery website where Arkenstone wines can also be purchased.

2007 Obsidian Tasting Notes:

The 2007 Arkenstone Obsidian Napa Valley shows deep crimson hues reflecting its full, rich body and the intensity and concentration of our Howell Mountain fruit. The opening nose of earthy spices and dried floral notes give way to black cherry and mocha. As it opens, the aromatics continue to develop and perfumed floral notes become more dominant. The initial tease of pomegranate and cranberry evolve into expansive mid-palate flavors of toasted macadamia nuts, dry tobacco, vanilla bean, ripe blackberries, dark stone fruits and a hint of eucalyptus. The finish is unexpectedly smooth and long for the big, bold structure of this wine. Supple, finely grained tannins with well-integrated acidity and fruit balance make this wine approachable now yet promise a long, rewarding cellar life.

2006 Obsidian

This first release of Obsidian celebrates the years of planning, planting and maturation of the vines at Arkenstone. Well worth the wait, this luscious, well structured dark garnet colored beauty reveals sweet aromatics of macerated cherries, brambleberries, cassis, figs, and black licorice. Enticing underlying notes reveal shaved black truffle, rich earth, sage and clove. On the palate Obsidian displays finely grained, supple tannins, well integrated acidity, and a satiny soft mouthfeel culminating in an extremely long and elegant finish.

2006 Syrah

Deeply opaque, purple jet black with a garnet rim, this extracted killer Syrah is like being wrapped in a down comforter. This intense and dense wine exhibits layer upon layer of aromas that begin with black bramble fruits, moving into cinnamon, clove and orange peel. This blockbuster is off the charts in terms of richness with more layers revealing ripe fig, black pepper, freshly rolled cigar, Belgian chocolate and newly plowed earth.

2007 Sauvignon Blanc

Shimmering pale gold with a silvery rim, the aromatics of green apple, wet stone, flinty minerality, caramelized sugar and subtle spring flowers scent this elegant, rich Sauvignon Blanc.  A full, yet soft mouthfeel with a teasing citrus zest opens to undertones of honeyed lemon grass, almonds, papaya, kiwi and ripe "Hoagen" melons. Beautifully balanced and structurally complex, this wine unfolds gradually to expose multiple layers as you drink it, and continues to open through a very long clean citric finish.

About Arkenstone

Located on the western shoulder of Howell Mountain, in the Napa Valley, Arkenstone Ranch rises from 1400 ft. to over 1650 ft. of elevation.  Purchased in 1988, years of planning and preparation preceded the first vineyard planting in 1998.  Rootstocks, clones and varietals were carefully selected to match the widely varied soils, slopes and exposures found on the Arkenstone Ranch.  The vineyards consist of 22 separate blocks planted to traditional Bordeaux varieties of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot, Malbec, Semillon, and Sauvignon Blanc.  In addition, a small block of Syrah translates each year into only 50 cases of beautiful Arkenstone Syrah.

SOURCE Arkenstone Vineyards