• davesmith

2015 Hoopla ‘The Mutt’

Labelled and adorned with “Dante”, a spirited, furry muse representing the wines of Hoopla, this like-featured beauty – without the fur – has all the bark, and slight nibble, without the Napa pretense. A wet snout full of vanilla and soft leather give way to dark blueberry spice across the tongue, left this wine geek panting for the next swirl, sniff and swallow. Unleash this puppy into your pie-hole ASAP!

Canine metaphors and slight vulgarity aside, this is a beautiful expression of Napa Valley that doesn’t bite your head off (ok…couldn’t resist one more.) Principal Owner Spencer Hoopes purchased a 10 acre parcel in Oakville, Napa Valley, in the early 80s, and has curated a 35+ year old crop of cunning Cabernet Sauvignon. Together with his daughter Lindsay, Owner and General Manager, their collection also includes a Chardonnay, a Rose’ and this blend.


After discovering this expressive glass of gorgeous in a taster at “flight night” at the The Kitchen restaurant at the foothills of scenic Boulder, Colorado, I was instantly (and a bit insanely) attracted to the big, bold and bodacious nose as it revolved ever so darkly in my big-boy glass (which I ordered after the sample) with a slight garnet glow. With tannins that were present, but not overwhelming, this wine holds its own with or without food – though the warm, freshly baked salted chocolate chip cookie certainly paired well.

Inspired by rescue pups Maya and Sophie, this predominately Merlot based blend may be a “Mutt” in namesake, but ever so quickly melts into your heart space. A true Napa gem I find simply delicious, irresistible and leaving me longing for the next nose nuzzling slobber around my palette. Whiskers and shedding optional…but be prepared for some heavy petting!