The story of Hobel Wine Works began in 1998, when Cameron Hobel first met friend and winemaker Thomas Brown in Napa. Cameron was working as the Director of Business Development at Winebid.com and Thomas was working as Assistant Winemaker at Turley Wine Cellars. Their mutual love of great wine led to many shared dinners and glasses of wine, where they discussed the prospect of finding a project that would allow them to work together in producing a world-class wine. The opportunity finally arose eleven years later, with the 2009 Hobel Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Hobel 2011 Cabernet Napa Valley
Retail 85.00 – GGWC 79.99 FREE SHIPPING on SIX or more.
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Three times is a charm, and it really is. The 2011 Hobel Cabernet Sauvignon is reminiscent of the 2009 vintage in that is very expressive out of the gate. The nose is bright with both sweet and savory notes. There are copious amounts of raspberry, dark chocolate covered cherries, spices and oak . The wine crosses the pallet effortlessly with a touch of grip to provide wonderful texture. Compared to our prior vintages, the 2011 feels like an earlier drinker, but there is a great balance in the wine that should allow it to rest comfortably for at least a decade.
The winemaker says: Location, location, location! In 2011, warmer temperatures in the north end of the Napa Valley pushed the grapes to ripen faster. The slope and hillside aspect of the Engelhard Vineyard allowed the morning fog to burn off more quickly, removing moisture and the potential for rot. We were able to let the grapes hang for a long time and harvest was completed on November 2nd, without a stitch of rot, which was unusual for the 2011 vintage. Wine wise, the 2011 has elements of both the 2009 and 2010 Hobel – it has the tannin structure of the 2009 and the concentration of the 2010. The 2011 Hobel Cabernet Sauvignon was one of the top wines my team produced this year. 237 cases produced!
PS: Thomas Rivers Brown is the face behind Schrader (100 Points) and Rivers Marie wines. Named as one of the “8 Impressive New Faces from California” by Wine Spectator
Jeff Cohn (JC Cellars) has been at it for 20+ years since he started his career at Ridge and Rosenblum. His own label has been on fire as of late. To lead up into the summer I wanted to introduce a fun wine – The First Date, a Roussanne and Marsanne (White Rhone varietals) blend.
JC Cellars 2011 “First Date” White Rhone Blend (Roussanne & Marsanne)
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Aromatically this wine is unlike any First Date Jeff has ever made, in the sense that it is not focused on bringing the aromatics of peach, apricots and orange blossom of Roussanne, but to intermingle with the more conservative and much deeper aromatics of the Marsanne in this wine.
This wine is a perfect combination for all types of fowl, both wild or farm raised. Goes well with fish, shell fish or rich meats such as veal or pork. Also enjoy this with young or slightly aged goat cheese.
Jeff Cohn says: “Seduction is the first thing I think of when I taste this wine. This is a wine that has gone through many experimental changes over the years. Always Roussanne and Marsanne. These are two of my favorite white wines. I also love Viognier and have always felt that a touch of this grape could take this wine to even a more hedonistic level. The 2011 is without a doubt the year that made me want to go to the next level. Yes the Roussanne is still fermented and aged in the Cement egg and yes we are still 30% new French oak, but this year instead of 75% Roussanne and 25% Marsanne, we brought up the Marsanne % up to 40%. I felt the seduction of the Stage Coach Marsanne was so amazing and it balanced so well with the Roussanne , I just could not resist.”
The journey that is Soliste, reflects the passion and commitment born of old world beliefs and traditions joined in a way that transcends individual ideas. The Soliste owners were inspired by winemakers who have challenged the status quo to elevate their region or cépage to grand cru level. Central to their philosophy is to be bold, experimental, and take risks; not arbitrarily, but with intent, diligence, and a long term vision. The rebellious voice of the Master of St Andelain, the self-taught iconoclast Didier Dagueneau, echoes in the Soliste winery, “If you want to be the best, you need the methods and techniques to get you there: Your vines must bear the best grapes; your vilification must be the most rigorous. There are no recipes. It’s all in the details of viticulture and all the details of winemaking, the assemblage of little things, 100 details and commitments which makes for the minute differences between a good wine and a great one.”
Soliste 2012 Narcisse Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast
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Intensely pure aromatics of griottes (wild cherries) and boysenberries interlaced with earthy tones. As the wine evolves in the glass, it carries elegant burst of dried fruits, exotic spices, vanilla, and black tea aromatics complemented by bright acidity of red fruit on the finish. The velvety tannins are extremely refined creating a Pinot Noir of great finesse, complexity and elegance. Narcisse 2012 is a mysterious wine that keeps evolving into profound sophistication.
Also check out the SOLISTE 2012 LUNE ET SOLEIL SAUVIGNON BLANC
Paul Hobbs does not need to be introduced. His skills are amazing and his wines are spectacular. The new Walker Station “John Dory” Chardonnay (150 cases) is just another example of Paul’s exemplary skill level and attention to detail.
Walker Station 2012 “John Dory” Chardonnay Russian River Valley
Retail 75.00 – GGWC 69.99 – FREE SHIPPING on SIX or more or more
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This wine is very impressive and very French-like. On the nose you are greeted by fresh citrus, white flowers, nectarines, a whiff of apricot and crushed rocks. On the palate this full-bodied gem is very reminiscent to and Old World Montrachet, and I don’t say this lightly! Powerful on impact yet extremely elegant and finessed wine! Amazing entry that is followed by just the right amount of acidity on the mid-palate with great viscosity. A very refreshing wine with all its elements in sync (bright luscious fruit, good acid, a touch a chalk, good minerality and a dollop of butter scotch) makes this wine with incredibly texture a must have for the cellar!
Mark Herold has been around the block a few times and he does not need much more intro. Star winemaker at Kobalt (95 Pts), Kamen (94 Pts), Merus (96 Pts, he created the label but sold it after a bitter divorce), Vineyardist (95 Pts) so it is no surprise that I am a big fan of his bold winemaking style. As always his productions are very limited!
MARK HEROLD 2011 CABERNET SAUVIGNON, NAPA VALLEY
Retail 100.00 – GGWC 94.99 – FREE SHIPPING on FOUR or more
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Dramatic, dark and penetrating immediately describe this wine. The color is a deeply saturated blue/black hue. Brooding from the glass is a landscape of layered scents: huge aromas of blackberries, black cherries, currants intermixed with espresso, crème de cassis, wet brick with nuances of dried flowers, black olives, and sage brush. A powerful mouth presence reveals extracted flavors of roasted black fruits showcased within a supple tannin framework is evidence of this wines fine sense of balance. Concentration, resolved fine-toothed tannins, and lingering rich flavors are hallmarks of this wine. 100% Cabernet Sauvignon. Enjoy the 2011 Herold Cabernet over the next 15 to 20 years.
A small winery but a big wine! The name is a combination of the vineyard owners (a.k.a mom and dad) Nancy KIVELson and Tom AngSTADT. An all estate property producing some great (mostly) Rhone wines. Our tasting does not often tackle Syrahs, so it was time to do it again. We brought in some great wines and it was a head-to-head race with a 97 point rated wine, but in the end, my little guy beat out the big scoring one!
- Failla “Estate” (92 WA)
- Favia “Quarzo” (95 WS)
- Alban “Lorraine” (97 WA),
- Alban “Patrina” (94 WA),
- Gramercy “Lagniappe” (94 WA),
- Alta Colina “Toasted Slope” (94 WA),
- Lewis (94 WS)
- Ross Andrew “Old Block” (94 WA)
- Dehlinger (93+ WA)
- Relic (95 WS)
- Carlisle “Cardiac Hill” (93 WA)
- Hudson (94 WS)
The Winner: Kivelstadt “Inheritance” received 6 First, 4 Second & 3 Third place votes, Alban “Lorraine” 5 First &3 Second place votes, Relic 2 First & 4 Second place votes.
Kivelstadt 2009 “Inheritance” Syrah (Estate) Sonoma
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This 245 case production is a real gem. You encounter gobs of fruit right out of the starting block. A whiff of anise, black currant and mint jump out of the glass. This full-bodied wine is very well crafted and will impress many! Tons of intensity, yet very elegant where it has to be. We decanted this wine 2 hours prior to tasting and that opened up its bouquet even more and the flavors and acidity where nicely in sync with each other. This little gemstone finishes long and intense just as it started. Don’t wait too long or it will pass you by!
Ed Kurtzman does not need much intro, winemaker extraordinaire for Roar, Freeman, August West, Sandler, etc. He has amassed decades worth of experience at wineries such as Bernardus, Graff, Chalone, Fort Ross, Testarossa and Michaud. The Sandler label is Ed’s own label ( FYI, Sandler is his middle name) which he created in 2003 with a mere 2 barrels of wine! Over the year the label has grown and focusses on various great designated vineyards throughout the state!
Sandler 2012 “Keefer Vineyard” Pinot Noir Russian River Valley
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The 2012 Sandler Keefer Ranch Pinot Noir is comprised entirely of the Swiss clone 23, also known as Mariafeld. A very generous aroma of gorgeous rose petals and ripe berry aromas jump out of the glass. An lively wine from start to finish. Very lush palate that is filled with stunning red stone fruit and bright acidity that are in-sync with the flavors that you experience from start to finish. This is a wine that is pleasurable right away, but also one that will age for years to come.
The “Dos Lagos” Vineyards (Two Lakes) are nestled in the hills of the Atlas Peak AVA in Napa. A 22 acre property, with only 5 of the acres planted to premium Cabernet Sauvignon. The altitude is approximately 1,650 feet. A rocky terroir, the volcanic rock is called “tuff.” The vines are planted partially on the hillsides, sloping down to the two lakes. Add Ace Winemaker Robert Foley and you have the ingredients for a great bottle of wine!
Dos Lagos 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon “Estate” Napa Valley
Retail 130.00 – GGWC 124.99 – BUY TODAY ONLY 99.99
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This 100% Estate Cabernet sourced from the Dos Lagos vineyard in amazingly intense and exotic. The aromas of chocolate, spice, graphite and black fruit jump out of the glass on impact. Very full in body, dark purple in color this wine is elegant but intense and offers up an array of crème de cassis, anise, a touch of spice and lots of dark fruit flavors from start to finish. Long lasting finish that seems to go on for a good 30 seconds. Only a 250 cases produced!
Almost 50 years ago, Lupe Maldonado moved to California from Atacheo, a small farming community in Michoacan, Mexico. In 1971 Lupe was working for Sterling Vineyards when Peter Newton offered Lupe the opportunity to join him in the creation of a new winery in the Spring Mountain District of St. Helena. Lupe’s dedication and hard work were beginning to pay off; he was named vineyard manager for Newton Vineyard. With Newton, Lupe found a home where he proudly dedicated all his energy for over thirty years. His son Hugo succeeded him in 1999. Lupe began devoting his three decades of viticulture wisdom to his own grapes. He bought a 10-acre piece of land in the Napa Valley. Today Lupe lives in the midst of the vines that he planted and tends to. Lupe and his son Hugo, a graduate in Viticulture and Enology from the University of California in Davis, and their families are partners in the project.
Maldonado 2011 Chardonnay “Parr” Sonoma Coast
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A youthful, fun, vibrant wine from the get go! The wine is medium to full in body, lush with a nice balance from start to finish laced with gorgeous pear, citrus and peach flavors and sublet mineral notes on the finish. The wine finishes long and elegant, a real crowd-pleaser! The wines are crafted by Alpha Omega winemaker Jean Hoefliger, whose relationship with the Maldonado goes back to 2001 while working at Newton Vineyards (under John Kongsgaard).
The Hirsch Vineyard has been the source for many great wineries’ top producing Pinot Noirs (Failla, Williams & Selyem, Littoria, etc.) The “Estate San Andreas Fault” is Hirsch Vineyards’ signature Pinot Noir and is crafted to give the drinker a complete picture of this complex vineyard. The 2011 Hirsch “Hirsch Estate San Andreas Fault” has fruit from 27 distinct farming blocks within Hirsch Vineyards, more than any wine produced from this site. It is named for the fault-line which marks the meeting of the North American and Pacific tectonic plates, snaking its way up the California coast and passing less than a mile from Hirsch. The 2011 growing season saw cool, even temperatures and clear, sunny skies. This resulted in wines that marry concentrated, focused fruit with flavor, balance and elegance. David Hirsch believes this may be the best vintage yet produced at Hirsch Vineyards.
We lined up 12 great wines that received great press and Hirsch came in numero uno! The line-up included:
- Chanin (95 Parker)
- DuMOL “Finn” (93 Parker)
- DuMOL “Estate (95 Parker)
- Donum “Reserve” (94 Parker)
- Lucia “Garys” (93 Wine Spectator)
- Capiaux “Garys” (93 Parker)
- Brewer-Clifton “D3” (93 Paker)
- Antica Terra “Botanica” (93 Parker)
- Talley “Rincon” (94 Parker)
- Williams-Selyem “Rochiolli” (92 Parker)
- Failla “Hirsch” (94 Parker)
- Hirsch Estate San Andreas Fault
The WINNER: 2011 Hirsch Estate!
Hirsch 2011 Pinot Noir Estate “San Andreas Fault” Sonoma Coast
Retail 65.00 – GGWC 62.99 FREE SHIPPING on SIX or more
OK to mix & match with other Hirsch wines
Use code HIRSCH upon checkout
This is one of the best vineyard sites in California, the 2011 Hirsch “San Andreas Fault” Pinot Noir is spotless from start to finish. This wine has amazing aromas jumping out of the glass and is gorgeously layered from top to bottom. On the nose one gets gobs of bing cherries, plum, licorice and sweet spices that come even more out in the lush textured palate that is amazingly impressive and will continue to do so for years to come. This might truly be the best Pinot Noir to date from this estate!
Also check out the new release HIRSCH 2012 CHARDONNAY ESTATE SONOMA COAST
and HIRSCH 2011 PINOT NOIR BOHAN DILLON ESTATE SONOMA COAST