2013 Hoopes Oakville Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon


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.


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. 


Aged 20 months in 71% new French oak. 

Tasting notes

95 points – Decanter; 93 points – Wine Enthusiast; 90 points – Wine Advocate.  Dense and dark in the glass, the wine goes deep on plum, prune, and bay leaf aromas that dance with notes of cedar, leather and earth. The palate is at once supple and generously full-bodied, with black currant fruit and a texture of fine tannins. Savory notes of espresso linger long on the finish.


Napa Valley


Cabernet Sauvignon