“Paul Hobbs has emerged as one of the great success stories in Northern California. […] I had an extensive tasting with Hobbs at his winery in late January, and the results were all impressive. […] As for the Bordeaux varietals, there’s no question that 2013 is the game-changer, as I indicated in previous reports, but 2014 is delicious and another top-notch success.”
Robert Parker on Paul Hobbs Winery, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, March 2016
Dr. George Belden Crane, one of the mavericks behind Napa Valley’s wine industry, planted this vineyard in Saint Helena in 1858. Generations later, in 1997, Beckstoffer Vineyards took ownership. In 1998, the site’s gravelly loam soils were replanted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot, and Cabernet Franc. One of the warmer sections of the valley, further inland from the cooling influence of San Pablo Bay, vineyards here are moderated by afternoon breezes that flow through a gap in the Mayacamas Mountains to the north.
In a string of excellent vintages, 2014 was the third straight outstanding season in a row. Dry winter and spring conditions limited canopy vigour, and a warm growing season without disruptive heat spikes resulted in steady, even ripening through to harvest. The resulting wines possess great site specificity and depth.
This wine is sourced from the prime sections of two specific blocks of the Dr. Crane vineyard. It is sophisticated Cabernet, known for muscular structure and intensity. Fruit was hand-picked at night when a chill hangs in the air, and hand-sorted while the berries were still cool from the field. Following a six-day cold soak, the wine was fermented by native yeast in small stainless steel tanks. It went through spontaneous malolactic fermentation after being racked to barrels. Following 20 months maturation in new French oak, the wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Deep black garnet in colour, this is a dense, aromatic Cabernet with cassis, cocoa, loam, and anise on the nose. The palate introduces layers of red currant, blackberry, graphite, and spice box. Ripe, ultra-fine tannins frame the core of dense fruit.
“The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Dr. Crane is my favorite again of this grouping and has the potential to be a perfect wine, which is really hitting the bull’s-eye in 2014. Plenty of gravelly notes, blueberry, blackberry and mulberry jump from the glass of this inky bluish purple-colored 2014 Dr. Crane Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. The good news is that there are 1,200 cases of this, compared to only 752 cases in 2013. It should drink well for 15-20 years.”
(98-100) points, Robert Parker, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, March 2016
“Extremely aromatic and beautiful with blueberry and blackerry character that turns to plums and roses. Full body and firm and silky tannins. Linear and intensely citrusy acidity. Long, mineral finish. Wonderful energy to this wine.”
97 points, JamesSuckling.com, Jan 2017
“The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard is dark, sumptuous and racy. Silky tannins wrap around a core of dark stone fruit, chocolate, spice, menthol and leather. This is an especially supple, racy 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon with plenty of up-front fruit, but fewer of the layers that are found in the very best wines in this range.”
92 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com. Dec 2016