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2017 Hobel Cabernet Sauvignon The Arris


Arris: The sharp edge formed by the intersection of two surfaces.

New to our Hobel line up in 2017, The Arris is sourced from a prime section of the Sodhani Vineyard in St. Helena. This single vineyard wine is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from clones 337 and 7 and our tiny production of 4 barrels was raised entirely in 100% new Taransaud and Darnajou oak barrels (two of each). Bright crimson in color this wine jumps from the glass with immense blackberry, blueberry, lavashak, leather, earth, and pie crust. The palate is chewy and dense with sweet vanilla notes, gardenias, wood spices and coconut. What a great first wine for us from this western hillside site in St. Helena. Beautiful and fresh now, but cellaring will definitely reward those who are patient.

  • Neck
    Black Ebony
  • Blend
    100% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Vineyard
    Sodhani Vineyard
  • Appellation
    Napa Valley
  • Production
    103 cases

The Vintage

Well, let’s start with the obvious. Starting on October 8, 2017, massive fires raged through the Napa Valley, causing widespread destruction and filling the valley with smoke. The fires were traumatizing to all of us living in the valley, especially since our son Indigo was due to be delivered on October 23, 2017!

We were fortunate that all of our fruit for the 2017 The Arris was harvested on October 4, 2017, before the fires, and the wines were safely in tank. Our fearless winemaking team led by Thomas Brown worked at the winery throughout to ensure all of our wines were doing well, and following their typical course during production. In the end, all of our Hobel Wines came through the month unimpacted by the fires, and for that (and for the birth of our son in a smoke-free Napa on October 23) we were extremely thankful!

Before the fires began, 2017 had shaped up to be another great vintage for Napa Valley. The year started with immense winter rains that inundated the valley. However, with our well-draining hillside vineyard sites (Ciminelli, Kennedy and Sodhani), we eased into spring and flowering went smoothly.

The beginning of June saw the first of two major heat waves that ramped up berry development well ahead of schedule. The heat continued into August and by Labor Day, temperatures were in excess of 110F. While many winemakers picked out of panic at this time, Thomas and our team waited patiently. As the heat faded, the brix levels in the fruit came down and the fruit at all three of our vineyard sites hung until they were ready to be picked, ensuring balanced phenolics and ripeness.

The Notes (From Winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown)

Located on a western shelf above St. Helena, Sodhani Vineyard was perfectly poised to withstand the vagaries of the 2017 vintage. Falling into shade in the late afternoon, the Labor Day heat spike that affected so many upvalley vineyards in 2017 was barely felt at Sodhani. This site always produces dark fruited Cabernets that have intense but ripe structure that helps to focus and frame the finish and the 2017 Hobel is no exception. The wine belies the appellation somewhat, tasting more like a wine from the Oakville hillsides.
2017 Hobel Cabernet Sauvignon The Arris  - Hobel Wines