2014 Hoopla "The Mutt" Napa Valley Red Wine


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.


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. 


Aged in two-year old French oak barrels for 18 months. 

Tasting notes

Aromas of boysenberry and cinnamon with notes of vanilla oak precede a rich mouthful of ripe cherry, plum and sandalwood. Soft tannins linger in the finish. 


Napa Valley


87% Merlot, 7% Malbec, 4% Petite Verdot, 2% Cabernet Sauvignon