This is an astoundingly elegant Cabernet. Paul Hobbs sources from two specific sections of this historic vineyard (first planted in 1858 – thought to be one of the first Cabernet Sauvignon sites in the region). He’s reduced the level of oak a little, with 87% new for 20 months (and less toasting) – something that shows and allows the fruit quality to shine through. The resulting wine in 2018 is pretty – full of perfumed florals and dainty cassis fruit, with cedar, sweetness and spice. But while the vibrancy and purity of ripe fruit is what instantly hits you, it’s the amazing chalk-textured, ripe and silken tannins that speak of its class. There’s refreshing acidity, offsetting the plushness of the fruit, and a mineral edge to the long finish.
FINE+RARE (March 2022)
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard was aged in 70% new oak this vintage, as opposed to 100% as it normally is. Deep garnet-purple in color, it rolls out of the glass with perfumed rose hip tea, fragrant earth and incense scents, giving way to a core of kirsch, blackberry preserves and blackcurrant pastilles plus a touch of iron ore. Full-bodied, rich and seductive, it has exquisitely ripe, finely grained tannins and a refreshing backbone, finishing long and minerally. 882 cases were made.
Lisa Perrotti-Brown MW, Wine Advocate (February 2021)Score: 99/100Drink 2023-2047
The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard is silky, sensual and wonderfully open-knit, as wines from this highly regarded St. Helena site can be. Rose petal, crushed red/purplish berry fruit, graphite, spice and mint infuse the 2018 with notable complexity as well as elegance. The 2018 is classic Dr. Crane - finessed and light on its feet. It is still a touch linear in build, just as it was from barrel, but it is also a bit more filled out. The Hobbs Dr. Crane emerges from choice parcels in the A and C blocks.
Antonio Galloni, Vinous (January 2021)Score: 95/100
Lots of ripe, plummy fruit with orange peel, flowers and cherries on the nose. Some stones. It’s full-to medium-bodied with a round, juicy palate and a flavorful finish. Very attractive and well balanced. Drinkable now, but better in 2022 and onwards.
James Suckling (December 2020)Score: 96/100