2003 Paul Hobbs "Michael Black Vineyard" Napa Valley Merlot (Previously $75)
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.
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.
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.
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.