Paul Hobbs Cabernet Sauvignon 2017, Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard, St. Helena, Napa Valley

Napa pioneer Dr. George Belden Crane originally planted the vineyard in 1858 in Saint Helena and since 1997 has been under the care of Andy Beckstoffer. Characterized by its gravelly loam soil, the site exudes opulent fruit, polished tannins, and finesse. Site: flat topography with eastern and western exposure. Soil: gravelly, alluvial soils; cortina and bale loam. Following five consecutive years of drought, 2017 provided record-setting winter rainfall that filled our reservoirs, and helped replenish soils and aquifers alike. Spring lead with dry conditions that facilitated an optimal fruit set before summer commenced with warm-cold day cycles, critical for slow flavor development and preserving acid. Winemaking: Hand-sorted while still cold from the field. Fermented in small, closed-top stainless steel tanks with indigenous yeasts. 5 day cold soak, 31 day total maceration. Gentle pumpovers and délestage. Spontaneous malolactic fermentation in barrel. Aged 20 months in French oak barrels; 100% new. Varietal composition: 100% cabernet sauvignon. Tasting notes: Harvested from two small prized blocks identified by Paul, this expressive wine penetrates with aromas of blackberry compote, sweet tobacco and crushed violets. Savory herbs like thyme and marjoram interplay with red currant, black raspberry, mocha and umami characteristics on the palate. Possessing a broad and deep texture, the grippy tannins are met with mineral notes of wet stones and balanced by a vibrant acidity that brings tension towards the long, persistent finish.