2012 was an amazing year for us - not only were we lucky enough to have a great vintage, but we also welcomed our first daughter, Coco Joon, just after harvest! The best growing season we have seen in many years set the stage for the 2012 Hobel Cabernet to be the best wine we have produced thus far. Aromas of cedar, sweet oak, vanilla bean, flowers and spices combine with a medley of boysenberry, cassis and blackberries on the nose. This super-concentrated fruit profile then passes through to the palate and is framed by hints of chocolate, minerals and sweet, round tannins. There is great length here, and with the density that we are seeing in the wine, we can only imagine the great things to come for "Coco's Vintage" with several years of bottle age.
2012 was a very good year for the Engelhard Vineyard. The heavier March rains were perfectly spaced to saturate the ground and protect against spring frosts. Colder weather in April slowed budbreak until the arrival of warmer spring temperatures, and lighter April and May showers provided the perfect conditions to support bloom in mid-May. Warm daytime temperatures throughout the summer allowed for steady development of the berries, and cooler nighttime temperatures allowed for good acid buildup. Sunscreening was applied and removed routinely throughout the summer as required to manage canopy temperatures and berry sun exposures. Because of the heavier 2012 crop load, our vineyard management team performed additional cluster thinning to ensure the highest quality fruit. As harvest approached, Thomas sampled the grapes regularly and the vineyard was picked at the peak of quality in the early morning hours of October 18.
If the dictionary had a definition for an ideal growing season, 2012 would almost certainly be it. Warm, early start with a great fruit set led to a warm, but never too hot, season that allowed us to pick the fruit on our terms. These rarely seen set of circumstances led us to making what I feel is the best Hobel Cabernet to date. Tremendous mouthfeel, packed with dense fruit and hints of cassis but with a fresh underpinning of acidity to keep the energy and tension. The tannins are fine and mouth coating, the finish powerful and long. Enjoy now with a healthy decant or cellar for 5-10 years.