Not surprisingly, the 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer To-Kalon Vineyard is reminiscent of a great first-growth Pauillac. One of Napa’s true first-growth vineyards, Hobbs obtains just about everything one could want from this extraordinary site. The phenomenal 2008 boasts sweet, juicy creme de cassis, incense, blackberry, toasty oak, licorice and spice box characteristics. Deep and full-bodied with great intensity, freshness, laser-like precision, copious tannin and a 60+ second finish. (RP) 97+
A graceful, refined effort that offers a supple, polished mix of currant, plum and black cherry flavors, with loamy earth, spice, mineral and crème de cassis notes. Full-bodied and notably refined, this firms nicely on the finish, revealing more cedary, woody touches. (JL)
Deep ruby. Hypnotic bouquet of red and dark berries, cherry-vanilla, Asian spices, cola, dark chocolate, violet oil and smoky minerality. Deep, sappy and pure, offering luscious, mineral-tinged black raspberry, cherry and floral pastille flavors and turning spicier with air. Supple tannins add finishing grip but are overwhelmed by the wine's energetic fruit. The minerality adds cut and urgency to the extremely long, pliant finish. Very sexy stuff. (ST)
Good medium red; not particularly dark but shows a healthy rim. Complex claret-like aromas of red- and blackcurrant, loam, licorice, mocha, woodsmoke and peppery herbs turned darker and more medicinal with air. Then dense and fine-grained but not thick on the palate, conveying good energy and violet lift to its medicinal dark fruit and chocolate flavors. There's something spicy/herbal in a refreshingly cool way on the back half of this wine, with the finish featuring dusty tannins and intriguing hints of cayenne pepper and cocoa nibs. Still a tad disjointed and in need of a bit more cellaring but I like the wine's energy and sappiness. This was a year of small production, noted Hobbs, with a very dry spring leading to an early budbreak, and a lot of fruit lost to frost. Cluster counts were also low, he added, and the chocolatey aspect of the vintage required acidification. (ST)
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