2003 Paul Hobbs "Michael Black Vineyard" Napa Valley Merlot

SKU #1074191 94 points Connoisseurs Guide

 All of the usual Hobb's concerns of ripeness, very deep fruit and extravagant oak are addressed head-on in this opulent Merlot, and, though some may argue that the wine is a bit too much of a good thing, we have no caveat with its range and its richness. Its layered and genuinely complex mix of black cherries, vanilla and lightly laid-on herbs and its positively fleshy palatal feel add up to a dramatic, very full-flavored wine that is firmed at the finish by a light touch of particularly fine-grained tannins. It is certain to shine with a broad array of savory, grilled lamb to beef entrees.  (7/2006)

93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The final vintage for the single vineyard Merlot Michael Black Vineyard, the 2003 boasts a dense purple color in addition to a sweet perfume of espresso, white chocolate, black cherries, and figs. With tremendous opulence, density, and a long, lush finish, it will provide plenty of pleasure over the next decade.  (12/2005)

89 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Good deep ruby-red. Pungent aromas of plum liqueur, black raspberry and milk chocolate. Sweet, plump and full, with moderate complexity. Finishes with substantial broad, tongue-dusting tannins and a hint of stony soil.  (6/2006)

89 points Wine Spectator

 Ripe and plush, with layers of rich currant, cranberry, roasted plum and rum cake spice. Supple texture and excellent concentration, finishing with a persistent, flavorful aftertaste.  (8/2006)

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Varietal:

Merlot

- A very popular red grape variety found in the great wines of St. Emilion and Pomerol. It is the most planted variety in Bordeaux, and it has also become an extremely fashionable red in many regions including California. Although it has a reputation to be smooth, and easy to drink when young, Merlot is also capable of producing extremely intense wines as well. It is often used as a blending agent with Cabernet Sauvignon.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.