Paul Hobbs is another winery that somehow made my list and I don’t quite remember why. But, he is so influential when it comes to California wine, I’m glad they made my list! He’s worked with so many different wineries over the last few decades and has his own wineries in California, Argentina, and Armenia, I believe. He has a really impressive resume.
I’d signed up for their Signature Tasting which is apparently supposed to be a tasting of four of their wines accompanied by artisan cheeses. We tasted six. No complaints. Upon arrival, we were given a taste of their 2017 Ellen Lane Estate RRV Chardonnay. I was pretty excited not to be tasting alone today. Someone from another winery was along for the ride as well as two women from Canada and Denmark.
EJ, our tasting host for the day, took us on a brief tour once we were all gathered. He led us down to their crush pad where I was excited to see a bottling truck! This is definitely bottling season for the wineries. But this was the first time I had the opportunity to see a bottling truck in action. It was everything I expected it to be.
Ooops – I guess I got my thumb in that last picture! Oh well. I loved that you can see the case of wine moving down the conveyor belt into the winery. The other boxes are empty and ready to be lifted into the truck to be filled with newly bottled wine.
I have zero bottle shots. None. EJ whipped those bottles out and put them away so quickly! There were also no tasting notes or tech sheets. Just an order form in what appeared to be a magnetic folder. I was a little sad. The presentation gave me so much hope. I’m glad I snapped a photo of mine before handing it over with my completed order. Otherwise I’d only have my memory to go off of.
Our first seated pour was the 2016 Edward James Estate RRV Chardonnay. That one was really lovely. It was paired with a fancy looking goat cheese (the one positioned at 12 o’clock on the plate below) – I think. That information was completely missing. The wines were great, but the experience was lacking in that regard in my opinion.
The next set of wines were Pinot Noirs. The first was the 2017 Goldrock Estate Pinot from the Sonoma Coast AVA. I really preferred this one to the 2017 Katherine Lindsay Estate Pinot from the Russian River AVA. It’s becoming more and more apparently that I lean towards the coastal pinots over the Russian River. The Pinots were paired with Cowgirl Creamery’s Wagonwheel. Again. I’ve been served that cheese SO often these last few weeks. I even have some in my fridge!
Next was Cabernet Sauvignon. I was hopeful yet a bit pessimistic. Our price list had four different Beckstoffer Cabs listed and a general 2016 Napa Valley Cab. I was sure we were just getting the Napa Valley blend. There was only one cab glass in the lineup. And I wasn’t sure the cost of the tasting could possibly include $285-$425 wines. However, EJ quickly brightened my mood by letting us know we would be tasting one of the others. YAY! The first cab was nice. But I was chomping at the bit for that Beckstoffer.
Our final wine was the 2016 Beckstoffer Dr Crane Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley. OMG. I’m sitting here wondering why I didn’t buy a bottle. It was one of the many 2016 Cabernet Sauvignons that received a perfect 100 rating from Robert Parker. It was super approachable right now. I’m also wondering if I could wander back over and they’d let me purchase a bottle.
Except for the Beckstoffer Cab, nothing really stood out as part of the experience. The wines were all amazing – but most of the wines I’ve been tasting are amazing. Paul Hobbs also offers a second experience that featured more food pairings. EJ mentioned that he saw in my reservation request that I was hoping for that one. I’m guessing scheduling or a lack of interest from others prohibited me from getting into that one.