The 2013 Hobel Cabernet Sauvignon is a remarkable wine. It is deeply colored and very concentrated. The highly perfumed nose has hints of sweet oak, cedar planks, bitter chocolate and blue and black fruits such as boysenberry and blueberry. The mouthfeel is massive, yet silky, with underlying tension that reverberates across the palate. Undeniably the biggest wine we have bottled to date, the 2013 Hobel Cabernet has copious amounts of fruit, the telltale structure and backbone that the vineyard site gives us and great acidity electrifying the finish.
Our 2013 crop was the best we have had from the Engelhard Vineyard thus far, despite the fact that we were facing the second year of drought-like conditions in the Napa Valley. We attempt to dry farm the vineyard as much as possible, and light rains in late March and early April helped us out in 2013, allowing the vines to draw out the unique, natural soil characteristics of the hillside vineyard. Perfect temperatures after bloom set the stage for uniform fruit. The warm weather and lack of rain in May and June kept the berry sizes very small, further enhancing the energy in the fruit. We harvested beautiful fruit on October 10th, a full week earlier than in 2012.
If 2012 marked a return to normal, 2013 marks a return to greatness. We knew from the first day in the fermenter that this wine would be the most concentrated effort to date, but what really sets it apart is balance. Everything is amplified in '13 but also in equal proportion. Its been over over a decade since California has seen consecutive vintages this strong and we see the streak continuing with a monumental 2014 currently in barrel and a strong start to the growing season in 2015.