The SOMM Journal

May 2014

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84 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } JUNE/JULY 2014 { the view from blue } A PAUL HOBBS PROTÉGÉE With projects in both Northern California and Argentina, vintner Paul Hobbs has made an indelible mark on New World winemaking. I recently tasted through some recent releases with Megan Baccitich, who last year was promoted to Director of Winemaker at Paul Hobbs Winery as well as at CrossBarn, Hobbs's second California-based project. A Healdsburg native, Baccitch embraces Hobbs's winegrowing-as- farming mentality, crafting some of the most accomplished expressions of terroir from both Napa and Sonoma—evidently just as Hobbs intended. These are just a few highlights of the portfolio. Paul Hobbs 2012 Chardonnay, Ellen Lane Estate, Russian River Valley ($75) Silky and fresh with juicy, elegant and vivid fruit and racy acidity; lively and lifted, classic and seamless; long and balanced. 95 Paul Hobbs 2012 Pinot Noir, Ulises Valdez Vineyard, Russian River Valley ($70) Smooth and juicy with deep, rich flavors of cassis, cherry and spice with notes of licorice; rich and toasty with a core of bright acidity; long and lush. 92 Paul Hobbs 2012 Pinot Noir, Hyde, Russian River Valley ($75) Silky, juicy and lush with tangy red cherry, pomegranate and bright acidity; lovely structure, smooth and very long; deep, nuanced and vibrant. 95 Paul Hobbs 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley ($100) Dark, rich and ripe with cassis, plum and spice; complex, juicy and showing mineral, oak, toast and chocolate; long and lush. 93 Paul Hobbs 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Beckstoffer Dr. Crane Vineyard, Napa Valley ($175) Explosive and opulent with smooth texture and lush flavors of cassis, plum, blackberry and spice; notes of chocolate, mineral, toast and earth; seamless and stunning, long and vivid. 96 A LOOK AT SOME RECENT CALIFORNIA CABERNETS FROM NAPA AND SONOMA by Anthony Dias Blue Cabbing It Hess Collection 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Allomi, Napa Valley ($30) From a 210-acre vineyard focused into 35 unique growing blocks with six different Cabernet clones. Stylish and rich with spice, plum, exotic spices and notes of chocolate. 13% Petite Sirah, 2% Petit Verdot. 90 Jordan 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley ($53) One of the most successful restaurant wines, this estate Cab is better than ever. Smooth and silky with elegant plum and acid structure; soft, complex with spice, earth and bright berries. This vintage shows nice aging potential. 92 Decoy 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon, Sonoma County ($25) This charming, value-loaded Decoy just may lure you away from Duckhorn's more expensive offerings. Ripe plum, cassis and clean style; smooth, balanced and deep with spice and complexity. 90 DUCKHORN VINEYARDS Amici Cellars 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Spring Mountain District ($125) Calistoga- based Amici benefits from partner Joel Aiken's many years of winemaking experience at BV. Loaded with luscious ripe plum, cassis and notes of licorice and sweet vanilla oak; rich but not heavy; exuberant and showing generous flavors and a vibrant finish. 92 Three Sticks 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Moon Mountain District, Sonoma County ($75) "Three Sticks" refers to the Roman numerals that follow founder Bill Price III's name. Lush and bursting with blackberry, plum and cassis; long ripe and balanced with sweet new oak and beautiful style. 12% Malbec, 9% Cabernet Franc, 3% Petit Verdot. 93 Faust 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley ($50) Another well-run project from Quintessa's estimable Augustin Huneeus. Soft herbs, keen spice, ripe plum and tangy fruit; dusty, elegant and long. 17% Merlot, 3% Petit Verdot, 1% Malbec, 1% Cabernet Franc. 90 HUNNEUS VINTNERS Hidden Ridge 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon, 55% Slope "Impassable Mountain" Reserve, Sonoma County ($75) From some of the most dramtic vineyard sites in Sonoma, this Cab is crafted by Marco Di Giulio. Dense, rich and packed with rich flavors of plum, chocolate and licorice; lovely notes of earth and spice, full-bodied style and a dense, lengthy finish. 93 VINTAGE POINT Mueller Family Vineyards 2009 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon, Diamond Mountain District ($70) Just 325 cases were made of this Diamond Mountain Cab, which shows silky texture and ripe flavors of plum, cassis and spice; edgy and long with excellent balance. 91 Oakville East 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon, Exposure, Oakville ($90) Sara Gott is consulting winemaker on this family project founded by experienced Napa Valley veteran Elliot Stern (Wilson Daniels, Clos Pegase, etc.). Tangy plum and toasty oak with notes of chocolate and spice; velvety, smooth and showing fine acid structure. 21% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petit Verdot. 93 Somm Journal June/July.indd 84 5/9/14 12:11 PM

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