Best known for his namesake wines from California, Paul Hobbs started his professional career at Mondavi as head Enologist of the Opus One team in 1981. He later moved to Simi and during that time he also became interested in Chile and Argentina. He got involved with Nicolas Catena and was eventually invited to lead Catena’s attempt to create a great Argentine Chardonnay.
He is now becoming one of the world’s reknowned flying winemakers — working as a consultant in Chile, Hungary and Argentina — in addition to making wines in Northern California and at Vina Cobos in Argentina.
His Vina Cobos wines have been getting more attention with each release — and looks like he has really produced some great wines in 2006 — if press and my first bottle of 06 Feline are any indication……this Malbec is pretty opulent, lush and velvety — and weighs in at 14.7% alcohol, but it isn’t overwhelming. It might walk up to the line of New World, but never totally crosses it — all pieces work quite well together, fruit, tannings, structure, oak all very nicely integrated. Nice structure with beautiful fruit — loads of cherry with raspberry, a little rhubarb, notes of charcoal — soft tannins with a lingering finish. The wine cane be purchased for 13-15 dollars a bottle — and I would put it up against some of the 2005 Bordeaux in the 28-34 dollar price point. This Feline is a lot of wine for the money.
Another indication that Argentina really has stepped up as the clear leader in South America both in terms of quality and value — and is perhaps the up-and-comer in the wine world right now.
I am not sure if I liked this wine as much as the Close de Siete — but I liked both wines a great deal — recommended.