Hoopes/Hoopla

In Dogged Pursuit of Perfect Wines

Located on prime Napa Valley real estate, where the Oakville AVA borders Yountville, the Hoopes Vineyard is a family business with a twist: it’s a father-daughter operation – in which (daughter) Lindsay Hoopes has full control of managing the business. Her father, Spencer Hoopes, came to farming and winegrowing by following his passion for collecting great wines. In 1983, he planted a ten-acre vineyard in the Oakville AVA and was soon supplying premium fruit to several esteemed wineries. 15 years later, he started his own label in order to make the aromatic wines with balance and structure that he loved most. A sweetspot for Cabernet Sauvignon, the Oakville AVA features well-drained sandy and gravelly soils as well as a slightly warmer climate that allows this late-ripening variety to develop rich and complex flavors. Think “Napa Cab” and you are probably thinking “Oakville” - as it is home to many of the Valley’s most iconic wines. Hence, it’s not surprising that Hoopes Vineyard focuses on Cabernet. But, as a small enterprise comprising estate vineyards as well as a winery, Hoopes Vineyard represents the pure relationship between grape grower and winemaker in a way that few do in the Napa Valley anymore. Under the flagship Hoopes label, the winery produces Cabernet from its estate vineyard in Oakville as well as from select vineyards in other parts of the Valley.  These wines, produced through meticulous farming and a minimalist approach to winemaking, are deep and complex and will reward years of cellaring. This label also includes Sauvignon Blanc from Coombsville as well as Chardonnay from Carneros. The winery also launched Hoopla, originally as a way to utilize the barrels that didn’t make it into the top blends but now as a label that emphasizes the fun and joie de vivre of a life in - or with - wine. The dog on the label is Dante, Spencer’s faithful and energetic terrier (now deceased), whose boundless energy might symbolize how we should approach wine in our lives - with a sense of play and fun rather than formality and seriousness.

Wines from this Winery

2016 Hoopla Yountville Napa Valley Chardonnay

2016 Hoopla Yountville Napa Valley Chardonnay

Chasing her dogs one morning, Lindsay stumbled across a lovely Chardonnay vineyard across the borderline in Yountville. A short conversation and a handshake with the owner was all it took to procure a new source of excellent Chardonnay fruit. Fermented almost entirely in stainless steel, the wine offers a mouthfeel that’s round and creamy along with vibrant notes of pear, melon and pineapple. A generous Chardonnay that’s bright and pure and without oaky notes of butter and vanilla, Hoopla Yountville Chardonnay is a lovely wine with an affordable price. 

Details
¥ 3,400
2014 Hoopla California Cabernet Sauvignon

2014 Hoopla California Cabernet Sauvignon

Despite the playful “hoopla,” this is serious and seductive Cabernet. Sourced from vineyards in Napa, Sonoma and Paso Robles, the wine goes deep with concentrated dark fruit flavors but remains balanced with acidity and well-integrated oak. With alcohol of only 13.9%, this Cab is food friendly, and the reasonable price means no special occasion is required to enjoy it over a meal with friends or family.  

Details
¥ 3,600
2014 Hoopla

2014 Hoopla "The Mutt" Napa Valley Red Wine

Just as mutts can be pretty awesome dogs – often healthier and more unique and even-tempered than purebreeds – Hoopla’s “The Mutt” turns an uncertain pedigree into a stellar performance. Blended from the “seconds” that don’t fit into the premium wines, The Mutt will change its constituents from vintage to vintage. In 2014, the blend is primarily Merlot (87%) with additional 7% Malbec, 4% Petit Verdot and 2% Cabernet Sauvignon. Largely sourced from Rutherford, this is a fun and fruit-driven wine that offers intense aromas and a juicy palate of ripe cherries and plums. Though easy to drink, it has plenty of complexity and concentration to startle the mind and stimulate the conversation. 

Details
¥ 4,500
2014 Hoopes Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

2014 Hoopes Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

Sourced from the Hoopes estate in Oakville as well as vineyards in St. Helena, Oak Knoll, southern Napa and Coombsville, this Cabernet combines the qualities of unique terroirs into a grand expression of the region. While 2014 was a rather dry year in the middle of a multi-year drought, moderate temperatures throughout the growing season allowed the grapes to develop their ripe and concentrated flavors slowly. This is a stunning wine that delivers intensity and richness. 

Details
¥ 8,700
2014 Hoopes Howell Mountain Maya's Merlot

2014 Hoopes Howell Mountain Maya's Merlot

When it comes to Merlot, location is everything. To avoid Merlot that’s soft, over-ripe and jammy, it should be planted in vineyards that are cool but not too cold – such as in St Emilion or Pomerol, where Merlot-dominant wines are savory with great finesse and elegance. Maya’s Merlot is from a vineyard on Howell Mountain, where summer days are sunny but windy and significantly cooler than the valley floor. Planted in well-drained, volcanic soils, the vines produce grapes with small berries, giving the wines more tannin, as well as earthy flavors and subtle fruit. The 2014 Maya’s Merlot is rich, dark and complex - with leather, black pepper and meaty notes to compliment the lush flavors of black cherry and chocolate. Drink now or wait five or ten years. 

Details
¥ 8,700
2013 Hoopes Oakville Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

2013 Hoopes Oakville Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

The estate that produces Hoopes’ flagship wine is situated in a neighborhood of such Napa Valley icons as Opus 1, Robert Mondavi, and Harlan Estate. Nevertheless, we believe Hoopes Oakville Cab can enter the ring and go the distance against any of those heavyweights. In addition to having a microclimate that’s not exactly cool or warm, the estate is blessed with easy-draining, volcanic soils, which are rare in Oakville and barely present on the floor of the Napa Valley. The winemaker, Anne Vawter, who developed her concentrated yet balanced style of winemaking while working under Heidi Peterson Barrett for four years at the Paradigm Winery, sees Oakville as Napa’s most exciting subappellation, her “solar plexus.” With 2013 widely acclaimed as the standout vintage of the decade so far, this is a sophisticated wine that’s made in an opulent style featuring black currant, dark chocolate and cherry flavors as well as a creamy mouthfeel. While this young beast delivers intense pleasure now, patience and cellaring will be rewarded as the wine ages into maturity. 

Details
¥ 12,000