LCBO Vintages Classics Release
“Paul Hobbs has emerged as one of the great success stories in Northern California. […] I had an extensive tasting with Hobbs at his winery in late January, and the results were all impressive. […] As for the Bordeaux varietals, there’s no question that 2013 is the game-changer, as I indicated in previous reports, but 2014 is delicious and another top-notch success.”
Robert Parker on Paul Hobbs Winery, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, March 2016
The Nathan Coombs Estate spans over 60 acres in southern Napa Valley’s Coombsville AVA. This is the coolest of Napa’s subregions. The terrain is gently sloping and well-drained, with veins of loam running through the soil. Bordeaux varietals rooted here enjoy a long growing season that delivers wines with intense black fruit flavours and an elegant mineral-driven mouthfeel. Named for Nathan Coombs (1840’s frontier pioneer, survivor of Grizzly bear attacks, founder of the town of Coombsville – later named Napa), this is Paul Hobbs Winery’s first-ever Napa Valley estate, and this is a consistently high-calibre wine.
In a string of excellent vintages, 2014 was the third straight outstanding season in a row. Dry winter and spring conditions limited canopy vigour, and a warm growing season without disruptive heat spikes resulted in steady, even ripening through to harvest. The resulting wines possess great site specificity and depth.
Fruit was hand-picked at night when a chill hangs in the air, and hand-sorted while the berries were still cool from the field. Following a six-day cold soak, the wine was fermented by native yeast in small stainless steel tanks. It went through spontaneous malolactic fermentation after being racked to barrels. Following 20 months maturation in new French oak, the wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered. The final wine is composed of 98% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Cabernet Franc.
This is a bold, vibrant Cabernet that celebrates the remarkably gentle terrain and unusual soil composition of Paul Hobbs Winery’s first Napa estate. Inky-dark in the glass with a vivid purple rim, the nose is seriously seductive: lavender, dried herbs, black cherry, and cassis. The palate is dense, but not heavy, with finely sculpted layers of dark chocolate, blackberry tart, moist earth, and crushed granite. Chewy tannins and balanced acidity offer focus, complexity, and powerful structure. As you can imagine, this is a wine that is made to last.
“Having tasted this wine since the inaugural 2012 vintage, one of the aspects I most love about this vineyard is how clearly it stands stylistically apart from Paul Hobbs’ St. Helena and Oakville single-vineyard wines-with red fruits entering the mélange, this incredible energy plus a very particular tannin texture-and yet the quality is right up there on the same par. Containing a dollop (2%) of Cabernet Franc, the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Nathan Coombs Estate has a deep garnet-purple color and a vibrant nose of red currant and red plum compote, blackberry preserves and mulberries with underlying suggestions of garrigue, Mediterranean herbs, damp earth, lavender and underbrush. Medium to full-bodied, the tannins on this wine are oh-so-finely pixelated, with a refreshing backbone cutting through the intense flavor layers, finishing with an invigorating lift. I could sit down and drink this right now, but it promises much more to come with 10-15 years cellaring and should hold considerably longer.”
97 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Nov 2017
“Even better than the 2013 (and this is probably the only cuvée about which I can say that when it comes to Bordeaux varietals), the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Nathan Coombs Estate is super-dense, displaying sweet crème de cassis, Christmas fruitcake and spice box notes as well as a long, opulent mouthfeel, crushed rock and lead pencil shavings, and a round, generous, sumptuous mouthfeel. It is a killer effort and a great example of Coombsville viticulture. Drink it over the next 15-20 years. Kudos to Paul Hobbs!”
(96-99) points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, March 2016
“The 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Nathan Coombs Estate Vineyard is the most dynamic and intense of these wines. Stylistically, the Nathan Coombs is most similar to the Piedras in its tannic and structural profile. A rush of dark red cherry and pomegranate punctuate the vibrant finish. I very much like the sense of energy here. I will not be surprised if, over time, the Nathan Coombs becomes the top Cabernet for Paul Hobbs, as it is the only estate vineyard in the range, and being in control of all aspects of production is increasingly critical for winemakers who strive to be at the very top.”
95 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, Dec 2016
“Aromas of cloves and currants with hints of rose petals. Iodine and oyster shell. Full body and polished and velvety tannins. Very linear and focused. A real backbone of fine tannins and acidity and mineral tension. Pinpoint clarity with immense density. Muscular. Needs time to soften. Fantastic.”
96 points, JamesSuckling.com, Jan 2017