2013 - 2019
The 2011 Pinot Noir Katherine Lindsay Estate is a remarkable wine for this vintage. Its dark ruby color is followed by composty, mushroomy, black currant and black cherry fruit. This meaty, Cote de Nuits-styled Pinot Noir was made largely from the Calera clone blended with the Swan clone. A remarkable success, this full-throttle Pinot is best drunk over the next 5-6 years. Paul Hobbs has built quite an empire, both as a worldwide respected wine consultant and as the owner of his winery in Sonoma Valley. I reviewed his Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon cuvees in Issue 209, and on this visit I tasted through his 2011 and 2012 Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs as well as a few Syrahs. His wines consistently hit all the high notes, and Hobbs continues to be a serious talent. I particularly enjoy his Cross Barn, inexpensive Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The 2011 Chardonnays range from tiny productions of 138 cases for the Ulises Valdez to 3,600 for the Russian River Chardonnay. The 2012s all reveal the tremendous up-front fruit characteristics of this year along with surprisingly high average alcohols, and good fresh acids. Paul Hobbs has introduced two Cross Barn Pinot Noir cuvees, one from the Sonoma Coast and one from Anderson Valley. These wines use a tiny bit of stems during their fermentations, and spend four months in barrel, 15% of which is new. Tasting through these same cuvees in 2012 demonstrated just how gorgeous this vintage is across the board in Northern California.