This was one of the great wines that stood out for us at Taste of Oakville in Napa Valley, the annual event that highlights the incredible terroir of Napa's sub-appellation of Oakville. You know the same place from where comes Screaming Eagle and Harlan Estate. At a very reasonable (comparatively) price point of $50, the Cabernet Sauvignon from Hoopes seems to always show succulent and well concentrated fruit as well as amazing balance and overall restraint. We started with the 2012 vintage, then the 2013 and now we have the delicious 2014, about which Hoopes says, "yet another drought year, the smooth moderate temperatures of 2014 allowed for gentle development and concentration of flavor. This long hang time gave us beautiful ripeness with layers of fruit and sweet mature tannins. Rich warm aromas of cigar box, creamy vanilla and damp earth, give way to a lush and generous mouth full of ripe plum and sweet cherries. Well-balanced oak supports a finish of milk chocolate and integrated tannins completing the graceful arc in the mouth." - Winemaker, Anne Vawter & Associate Winemaker, Jennifer Rue.
Spencer Hoopes planted his 10-acre vineyard in 1983 and has been farming it ever since. His fruit went to other high-end Napa Valley Cabernet producers until 1998 when he decided to bottle his own wine. His daughter, Lindsay, has taken over full time management of the winery and works hand in hand with winemaker, Anne Vawter, who spent four years learning the ropes of winemaking and the Oakville terroir under Heidi Barrett at Paradigm.