Saturday, September 19, 2015

Report from: A Meeting with Paul Hobbs - June 11, 2015

Do you know this man???
Let's assume for a moment that you have never heard the name Paul Hobbs - if that is indeed the case I'll bet you know some of the wineries where the wines have bore his signature: Robert Mondavi, Opus One, Simi, Peter Michael, Fisher, Lewis, Catena and a multitude of others. Some of these wines he has made directly, others he has consulted on the making of.  He event has his hands here in Ontario (Stratus) - Paul's reach and influence is felt everywhere.

His past is what made him today and his most famous story is how he came to work with Catena: he started consulting in 1989 and Nicolas Catena helped Paul start his own winery in California: "he was a great businessman," said Paul of Nicolas, "I was the wine guy; he helped me with the business side, I helped him make wine."

Today there is the winery that bears Paul's name, his Argentine project, Vina Cobos, and his newest project in his home state of New York with 65 acres on Seneca Lake (opening soon).

Today during the lunch and tasting we tasted wines from the two major Hobbs projects (California & Argentina) and hopefully, the next time he comes through town, he'll have stuff from New York ... Here we go:

We have come to the church of Paul Hobbs let us pray:
Today's Five Wines ...

Paul Hobbs 2013 Crossbarn Chardonnay ($29.95)
80% tank fermented / 20% in neutral French oak
Despite the majority of tank Chardonnay it's rich with a touch of spice on the finish;
creamy with spiced-apple, peach, hints of vanilla cream and lemon drop, good acidity.
Rating: ****
Paul Hobbs 2013 Russian River Chardonnay ($54.95)
12 months French oak, 47% new
Delicate vanilla cream, lemon drop, good acidity, and creamy mid-palate;
a lovely sipper: soft and silky on the finish.
Rating: ****+
Vina Cobos 2013 Felino Malbec ($19.95)
100% Malbec from a semi-desert climate
Aromas of blueberry and cassis; Palate is smoky with black currant,
vanilla and spice - needs time to smooth out those harsh edges.
Rating: *** 1/2+
Paul Hobbs 2012 Crossbarn Cabernet Sauvignon ($54.95)
20 months in French and American oak; 14% new
There's a nice sweet raspberry and cherry smell; palate is rich and succulent
with blackberry, red and black cherry, mocha, spice; slight chalky intensity to the finish.
Rating: ****+
Paul Hobbs 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley ($99.95)
95% Cabernet Sauvignon / 3% Petit Verdot / 1% Malbec and Cabernet Franc
Aged 20 months in French oak, 65% new
Aromas: sweet red and black fruit with chocolate and vanilla;
Palate: dark fruit with rich robust tannins; touch smoky-vanilla, blackberry,
cassis and a spicy long finish --- this wine has a long life ahead of it and
is one heck of a mouthfilling wine with lots of flavour; what a tasty wine.
Rating: **** 1/2
And he rests his case ... can I here an "Amen"

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