We followed the 2010 closely during its time in barrel. We were very excited to be making our second vintage and wanted to catch as many glimpses of the wine during its evolution as possible. The clonal composition of the 2010 is the same as the 2009 (and the 2011 resting peacefully in barrel) - See Clone, Clone 4 and Clone 6. But while the 2009 seemed to reveal itself right away, our 2010 is a bit shy and more of a classic California cabernet - darker in color, aromatically complex and broad shouldered. The nose is dominated by earth tones, a touch of herb and black walnut with layers of black current and cassis coaxed out with swirling. The mouth feel is structured, chewy and packed with flavor. We are looking forward to tracking the evolution of this vintage in the years to come.
Looking back at the 2010 growing season, one would think we were making Pinot Noir in Burgundy and not Cabernet Sauvignon in Napa Valley. 2010 started off very cool and stayed cool. Heavy rains fell seven times in April and six times in May. August was marked by cool foggy weather but at least the rain stopped. Proactively managing the vineyard was paramount to ensuring the ripening of our parcels of fruit. The Engelhards and Clark Vineyard Management were diligent about farming and canopy management so that when the heat came, and it did come, the vineyard would be ready. There were two blasts of heat, one at the end of August and one at the end of September, that increased the sugar content in our grapes. Letting our fruit hang until October 26th gave us the phenolic ripeness we wanted and made us realize that maybe we had worried a little too much about the vintage earlier in the year.
The 2010 Hobel Cabernet Sauvignon is more broad shouldered than the inaugural 2009 vintage. The growing season was cooler, resulting in more of a classic Cabernet Sauvignon, exhibiting aromas of cassis and black currant. The acidity is a very large part of what gives the 2010 Hobel Cabernet Sauvignon such a classic feel - it provides more cut and delineation and gives the wine a light on its feet quality that's refreshing without sacrificing concentration.