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2017 Hobel Cabernet Sauvignon The Figure

The Wine

Figure: The distinctive pattern that results from various grain orientation and by annual growth rings, rays, knots or deviations from natural grain.

The 2017 The Figure is a wonderful classic Cabernet that exhibits many of the qualities from this vineyard site we have come to love over the years.  Just like the 2016, the 2017 Figure is black and dark purple in color.  Aromas have higher toned notes of cedar, tobacco leaf and eucalyptus, all enveloped by black fruit – plums, cherries, boysenberries.  There is great fruit density on the palette which is nicely framed by dusty tannins. Partially due to the increased attention to farming by our team and additional vine age, the 2017 Figure shows great complexity and shares the same broad shoulders which are typically characteristic of The Grain.  The 2017 Figure is a blend of clones 6 and 30 and the wine was raised in 75% new French oak from Darnajou, Taransaud, Remond and Baron.

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 Figure was harvested on October 3, 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 the 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)

In 2017, we finally saw the Kennedy Vineyard come into maturity. It has always had an exuberant fruit expression but now with some vine age, it has added complexity and structure to complement its forwardness. Judging from what is in barrel for 2018 as well, the upward qualitative trajectory looks promising and we are excited to keep The Figure as a cornerstone for the project.

  • Neck
    Black Ebony
  • Blend
    100% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Vineyard
    R.M. Kennedy Vineyard
  • Appellation
    Napa Valley
  • Production
    91 cases
2017 Hobel Cabernet Sauvignon The Figure  - Hobel Wines