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2019 Hobel Cabernet Sauvignon The Birdseye

The Wine

Birdseye: A distinctive pattern that resembles tiny, swirling bird's eyes disrupting the smooth lines of grain.

Brand new to the lineup in 2019 is The Birdseye, from a beautiful block of Phillips Clone Cabernet (bud wood coming from an Oakville vineyard) from Larkmead Vineyards in Calistoga. The Calistoga sites we work with show more of a savory component in the wine and The Birdseye is amplified in this respect. The Birdseye has a bright crimson robe and exudes notes of cedar, walnut husk, cinnamon, bark, chocolate and plums. The medium weight mouthfeel has lots of punch. Bittersweet chocolate, cherries and a hint of leather dance across the palate. Right now, this wine seems to be a bit shy out of the gate but with several hours of air it really blossoms. We cannot wait to see this flesh out in bottle over the next couple of years.

The Vintage

The loam and gravel soils at Larkmead benefited well from the abundant Winter rains in 2019, giving the vines everything they needed to maximize nutrient uptake and provide them with abundant ground water for the growing season. Larkmead is farmed all in-house, so the team there is intimately familiar with each block. Our block in 2019 was planted with a heritage Napa Valley clone sourced from one of the most prestigious sites in the Valley. Over the growing season, the crew worked to dial in the canopy development and cluster count. Going into the Fall, Larkmead showed why it’s some of the most cherished ground in Napa Valley. The vines looked balanced and poised for greatness. This fruit was picked on the night of October 15th and brought to the winery at dawn, where it was processed and transferred to tank.

The Notes (From Winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown)

We have worked with different blocks at Larkmead for several years now and when this block of Phillips Clone Cabernet became available, we immediately locked it in. Bottled as The Birdseye, it is a great first look at the potential of this block. The wine has complex aromatics of red fruits, tobacco and herbs and the palate continues that theme. We expect time in bottle to benefit this wine greatly, as right now it is a little shy compared to the two other 2019 bottlings.

  • Neck
    White Oak
  • Blend
    100% Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Vineyard
    Larkmead Vineyard
  • Appellation
    Napa Valley
  • Production
    147 cases
2019 Hobel Cabernet Sauvignon The Birdseye  - Hobel Wines