Paul Hobbs is spoken by many as the Michel Rolland of California. The peripatetic Hobbs has his own great wine brands spread all over the world, Vina Cobos in Argentina, another in New York State as well as projects in Chile and Tokaji, Hungary. The latter makes sense when you consider his Eureka moment in wine was a 1962 Yquem which he shared in 1969 with his dad in New York. Of course, his greatest winemaking achievement is Paul Hobbs wines in California, which he supplements with over 35 other consulting roles spread across the Napa Valley. Hobbs was named the ‘Steve Jobs of wine’ by Forbes and twice personality of the year award by Robert Parker.
It all started with his first winemaking position at Robert Mondavi winery in Oakville in 1978 and in 1984 he moved to work on Opus One. In fact, he had a hand in the creation of this great wine for Mondavi and Baron Philippe de Rothschild. This was before he spent 10 years in Argentina as a consultant for Nicolas Catena. It was the 10 years spent consulting for Bodega Catena Zapata which made the Paul Hobbs winery possible. His work here was ground-breaking. At the time many people, especially at the University of California, where Hobbs studied oenology and viticulture, were saying that Argentina was too hot, only capable of making plonk. Hobbs convinced Cantena Zapata that Malbec would be an export hit, having witnessed the stunning potential in the vineyards, the rest is history. He even spent time with the great Henri Jayer in Burgundy.
At this time he had fast become one of the world’s most promising winemakers and in 1991 he felt it was time to start the Paul Hobbs label, thereon building a winery in Russian River Valley. However, it is his Paul Hobbs Beckstoffer Dr Crane and To Kalon wines that are considered his master work. In 2002 Robert Parker awarded 100 Points to Hobb’s Beckstoffer To Kalon and in 2013 both Hobbs’ To Kalon and Dr Crane were awarded 100 points.
Today we are excited to release Paul Hobbs Beckstoffer Dr Crane 2014, which has been awarded 98-100 points for £1,100 per case of six. The 2013 Dr Crane was originally awarded 95-98+ from Robert Parker and marked up to a straight 100 points; it trades today at £1,500, a 36% premium to the 2014’s release price. Taken together the 2012, 2013 and 2014 are the highest scoring in the wine’s history, with the 2013 and now the 2014 pushing new heights.
Dr Crane is one of the most prodigious vineyards in the Napa Valley, just 25 precious hectares are shared by some of the greatest producers. Paul Hobbs Cabernet Sauvignon from Dr Crane is perhaps the finest of this legendary vineyard in 2014, bettering even Realm’s effort, should Parker eventually give it 100 points. This seems likely – he states that Hobbs Dr Crane ‘has the potential to be a perfect wine, which is really hitting the bull’s-eye in 2014.’ Not only does Hobbs’ Dr Crane outscore the other leading producers of the Vineyard, but it is also the lowest price on release, trading at a 39% discount to Realm’s Dr Crane Cabernet Sauvignon. As such, the 2014 is an extremely attractive buy on release with fantastic short-term potential.
|Producers in Dr Crane – 2014||RP||Price|
|Paul Hobbs Dr Crane||98-100||£1,100|
|Realm Dr Crane||99||£1,800|
|B Cellars Dr Crane||96-98||£1,250|
|Myriad Cellars Dr Crane||96||£1,400|
Paul Hobbs is one of the world’s finest winemakers and the Beckstoffer vineyard is one of the truly great vineyards. It is situated on the west side of St. Helena, boasting gravelly, loamy soils with a balmy climate. It lends itself to velvety wines, with deep, rich flavours and intense, long finishes. When combined with Hobbs’ mastery the wines add incredible balance, harmony and elegance. Only 1,200 cases were made for the entire globe. Paul Hobbs Dr Crane 2014 will provide incredible pleasure and superb investment potential.
Paul Hobbs Cabernet Sauvignon Dr Crane Vineyard 2014, 6×75 – £1,100 In bond or £1,335.59 including duty and VAT
98-100 Points, Robert Parker
The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Dr. Crane is my favorite again of this grouping and has the potential to be a perfect wine, which is really hitting the bull’s-eye in 2014. Plenty of gravelly notes, blueberry, blackberry and mulberry jump from the glass of this inky bluish purple-colored 2014 Dr. Crane Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. The good news is that there are 1,200 cases of this, compared to only 752 cases in 2013. It should drink well for 15-20 years.
To buy this wine click here.