As we approached the address of the winery we only saw a modern sign with the address number appearing. Where is the sign for Paul Hobbs? Our knowledgeable guide, Christopher O’ Gorman, the marketing and communication manager for Paul Hobbs, later mentions that the winery was having too many guests and that they had to take down their Paul Hobbs sign because their winery could not actually accommodate so many people tasting their wines. There’s a good reason why the tasting room was having a ton of traffic. Paul Hobbs is truly one of the most important players in wine – not only in California but in the world. He not only makes top Napa Cabernet, Pinot and Chard but makes what I consider to be the best Malbec in the world, the Vina Cobos (http://www.vinacobos.com/).
Hobbs has been making wine since 1977, previously working at Robert Mondavi and Opus One before starting his own winery. His 2002 Cabernet from the To Kalon Vineyard received 100 points from Robert Parker. Only a handful of people can say that they’ve made 100 point wine.
The tour at Paul Hobbs is exquisite. The tasting room and nearby production facility is modern and hip and the picturesque rolling hills of vineyards is something out of a storybook. Christopher took us to the private tasting room and we sampled the new releases. The lineup was impressive, as Paul Hobbs quality is there from Chard to Cab. I was impressed with their effort in difficult vintage, as their 2011 Cabernet was rich and layered, which was difficult to obtain due to the coolness of the vintage. The quality of the winemaking is present in each of their wines. The 2012 Paul Hobbs ‘Nathan Coombs Estate’ Cabernet was one of the best Cabs, if not the best Cab out of my Sonoma and Napa tastings. Look for these wines at specialty wine shops (Esquin and Pete’s Wine Shop in the Seattle area) or online at http://www.paulhobbswinery.com/. Here are some of the great wines that I recently sampled at Paul Hobbs winery.
2014 Paul Hobbs Crossbarn Rose- This is their second label, made from Pinot grapes. Green melon and strawberry on the nose. Palate has strawberry, guava, and unripe cantaloupe. -90
2013 Paul Hobbs Russian River Chardonnay- Nose has pear and golden delicious. Palate has pear, brioche and red delicious. Nice viscosity and depth. -92
2012 Paul Hobbs ‘Richard Dinner Vineyard’ Chardonnay- Nose has butterscotch, Crete brûlée, and pear. Palate has minerality, with red delicious and butterscotch flavor a. -93
2013 Paul Hobbs Russian River Pinot Noir-Perfumed nose of black cherry, rose petals and raspberry. Palate has raspberry, black cherry, vanilla and cherry cola, with minerals. Drinking well right now. Roughly 2500 cases. -92
2013 Paul Hobbs ‘Hyde Vineyard’ Pinot Noir- Rose petals and raspberry with mushroom on the nose. Palate has mushroom, black cherry, blackberry, and cherry cola. -93
2012 Paul Hobbs ‘Cuvée Augustina’ Pinot Noir- This is named after Hobbs’s eldest daughter. Powerful nose with rose petals, mushroom, red cherry and oak. Palate has mushroom, red cherry, blackberry, and red currant. Complex and rich. Drink 2016 on. -94
2011 Paul Hobbs Cabernet- Nose has herbaceous nodes with red bell pepper, anise and black cherry. Palate has anise, blackberry, coffee and nice richness for the vintage. Drink 2015 on. -93
2012 Paul Hobbs ‘Nathan Coombs Estate’ Cabernet- nose had anise and blackberry. Richness is profound. Milk chocolate, anise and blackberry with moderate tannins. Very serious. Drink 2018 on. -95