Pulling the cork just days after our June 20th bottling was an exciting experience. The wine was almost black in color and the room was immediately filled with the aromas of blackberries, cassis, a touch of forest floor and baking spices. The wine is rich and bold and saturates the palate with flavor. The underlying tannin structure and acidity provide lift, lengthening the finish and giving a glimpse of spectacular things to come.
2009 was a great year for us to start making our Hobel Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Although the year started out very dry (with many reservoirs seeing their all-time lows), some steady rains at the end of May provided the vines what they needed to have a successful growing season. The dry weather at the beginning of the season actually turned out to be the saving grace, pushing the vines to ripen the fruit sooner and thus allowing us to pick fully mature grapes just before the rains on October 12, 2009.
With 2009 we are beginning to see the quality that can emerge from Engelhard Vineyard. The first few crops are always part of the discovery with a new site and we feel with this wine now in bottle and the 2010 resting in barrel we are moving in the right direction. The combination of exposure, plant material and climate make this the most exciting new vineyard Iâ€™ve worked with in a long while. The wines here will tend to be more black-fruited than red with a pretty firm backbone and plenty of stuffing to go a decade in the cellar.