Jacob Franklin – ’11 Hoffman Lane Cabernet Sauvignon – Wine Review
Wine tasting date 2/3/2018
The last wine that I chose for our Saturday tasting was a bonus wine for the group. While we provide wine tours, and personalized North Georgia wine experiences for our guests, we are not doing California tours yet. Stay tuned though. I have been a wine club member with Jacob Franklin for the past 3 years and I have not been let down by any of their wines. Small production, concentrated juice, very age worthy wines, are what they are known for.
This was a single vineyard, 200 case production (8 barrels), Cabernet Sauvignon from the Hoffman Lane vineyard in Napa Valley. This vineyard is located right off Highway 29 and has large Eucalyptus trees surrounding it. This is the same producer, and family, that also makes Elyse wines.
Looking at this wine in the glass, it is purple, dark and inky. There was a little bleed into the halo, but not that much, indicating that it could have aged much longer. On the nose, there was blackberry, blueberry, asparagus, green olive, eucalyptus, banana, tennis ball, inner tube, jalapeno, and green bean. It was broad, and diverse with some very interesting smells. I was hoping that the pallet would be equally “busy” and unique. It was such a big and overpowering nose that we scored it a 5 out of 5.
Looking at it and tasting it, everyone had a tough time pegging this as a Cabernet. We all thought it was more indicative of an Australian or Rhone Shiraz/Syrah. A lot of this is since it is on the valley floor and surrounded by those Eucalyptus trees.
On tasting it, it was powerful, leading towards intense. I compared this to a Margaux, in the description of “an iron fist wrapped in a velvet glove.” To be conservative, we gave it a 22 out of 25 on flavor intensity.
On the pallet, to choose between crisp and elegant, we had to go elegant, because of the abundant fruit. There was no red fruit, but lots of blackberry and blueberry, cedar, tobacco, herbal notes, and dill. We scored this with an 8 out of 10 in flavor characteristics.
When reviewing the balance of the wine it was dry, with high acidity, complex, and definitely full bodied. It had a perfect balance, earning it a 5 out of 5 on this scoring. I always say that I can enjoy any wine that is balanced well, and this did not disappoint.
The finish was long lasting almost a minute, earning it a 4 out of 5 on the finish. After 4 wines, our pallets were pretty cooked, and the finish may have actually lasted longer, but we couldn’t pick it up.
The total score on this wine was 94 on a 50-basis point scale. I would highly recommend this wine, if you can find it. At 200 cases, it may not make its way off the wine estate property.