Paul Hobbs Stagecoach Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon 2001
Wine SpectatorImpressive for its range of intense, concentrated flavors that fan out on the palate, revealing extra dimensions of richness and depth, with firm, juicy plum, currant, anise and mocha flavors that fold together nicely, ending with a firm, rich, tannic aftertaste. Best from 2005 through 2012.
International Wine CellarFull ruby. Blackberry, blueberry, cassis, mocha, graphite and caramelly oak on the nose. Denser and sweeter than the Napa Valley bottling, with a suaver, more pliant texture. Intriguing notes of minerals and Cuban cigar tobacco. Has the strong fruit component to support its building tannins.
Wine AdvocateRustic tannin as well as a hint of astringency are noticeable in the 2001 Cabernet Sauvignon Stagecoach Vineyard (planted on a hillside above the Oakville Crossroads, near the famed Dalla Valle and Backus vineyards). Full-bodied and powerful, this macho effort needs to calm down. Notes of lead pencil shavings, creme de cassis, smoke, and licorice are followed by a full-bodied, intense red. It should shed enough tannin to become well-balanced. I visited Paul Hobbs at his new winery, which should give him greater ability and flexibility to exploit some of northern California's finest vineyards. Hobbs, one of my favorite winemakers, has an impressive resume, having worked at some of the better northern California wineries. He continues to work for some of the better South American producers. His 2001s and 2002s represent his finest portfolio yet. In spite of his affable, down-to-earth personality, this guy is clearly driven, and gives meticulous thought to every decision he makes. His wines are the result of a winemaking philosophy that includes only indigenous yeasts for fermentation, full malolactic for whites and reds, and no clarification ... meaning no fining or filtration. Hobbs has culled out some of northern California's great sites for Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. I suppose it is only a matter of time before he turns his attention to Syrah, which seems like a natural progression given what he has already accomplished.