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2002 Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley

I was first introduced to Paul Hobbs through his Cabernet, and have been a fan ever since. His wines are spirited and exemplify the conjunction of skilled winemaking and a clear vision of what experience a particular bottling should convey. All of his wines are single vineyard wines, and he is intent on expressing the particular and individual qualities of his grapes. For this reason, I was excited to try his 2002 Pinot Noir. Like his Cabernets, the Pinot was an explosion from the moment it was opened.

Tasting Notes:
Holy cow. What a nose! This wine leapt out of the glass, and wrapped itself around my head, immersing me in a huge cloud of black rasberry, chocolate, cedar, and as the wine opened up more, perfectly ripe blackberry. Its young plum color was clear and echoed in the round body of the wine with lots of plum, cola, and vanilla flavors headed towards a medium finish. This is a VERY fruit forward Pinot, one of the most extreme examples in this style that I have had. Some, especially those who favor the Burgundian style, may find it overdone, but I appreciate fruit laden wines that are well done, and Paul's certainly is.

Food Pairing:
Because of the dark fruit involved in this wine, it will go extremely well with grilled meats, even (gasp) steak. I'd ideally pair it with a grilled Tuscan pork rib roast with rosemary coating and red pepper relish.

Overall Score: 9.5

How much?: $34.99 - $40

I got mine at one of my local San Francisco stores, The Wine Club.

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The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson The Taste of Wine by Emile Peynaud Adventures on the Wine Route by Kermit Lynch Love By the Glass by Dorothy Gaiter & John Brecher Noble Rot by William Echikson The Science of Wine by Jamie Goode The Judgement of Paris by George Taber The Wine Bible by Karen MacNeil The Botanist and the Vintner by Christy Campbell The Emperor of Wine by Elin McCoy The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson The World's Greatest Wine Estates by Robert M. Parker, Jr.