(1996 Vintage) This Merlot has remarkable concentration, depth and purity of red and black berry fruit, interlaced with nuances of spice and vanilla from oak. Rich and sensuous on the palate, this well-balanced wine complements a wide assortment of full-flavored pastas, meat and cheese dishes. Serve at cellar temperature. Alcohol 13.6%. Cellaring: excellent now through 2005.
International Wine CellarRating: 89/100 - As reviewed by International Wine Cellar in Issue 126, May/June 2006 ($75) 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. This is the last vintage for this bottling; beginning with 2005 Hobbs will offer a syrah from a vineyard in the eastern hills behind Santa Rosa.
Robert ParkerRating: 93/100 - As reviewed by The Wine Advocate in Issue 162
Wine AdvocateRating: (92-94) - As reviewed in Wine Advocate # 157 on Feb-05
Wine SpectatorRating: 89/100 - As reviewed by Wine Spectator