D’Amato & Szabo: Wine Thieves – Ep 45:Napa Valley Grand Crus Part 2 with Paul Hobbs, Chris Tynan & Tom Hinde

The Crus of Napa Valley Part 2

This is not an episode about Napa’s “icon wines” or “icon wineries” whose labels, rarity, and high cost cause a frenzy among consumers resulting in exclusive waitlists for the privilege of purchasing a bottle. No, today we’re talking about the “star” vineyards that, in some cases, have become brands in their own right. In Part One, we spoke with Andy Beckstoffer, the winegrower who turned Napa Valley’s grower-winery relationship upside down.  Today our illustrious guests include Paul Hobbs, Chris Tynan of Cliff Lede Vineyards, and Tom Hinde of Taub Family Selections to discuss what makes their vineyards so unique.  

Paul Hobbs is an esteemed international winemaking consultant with projects across the globe from Argentina to Armenia but his home base is at Napa Valley’s Paul Hobbs winery whose fruit is sourced from the sub AVA’s of St. Helena and Oakville. He works with Beckstoffer’s fruit from the notable To Kalon, Las Piedras, and Dr. Crane vineyards. He’ll open up about his long-time relationship with Beckstoffer Vineyards plus the Nathan Coombs Estate on the foot of the Vaca Mountain range known for its volcanic soils and cool climate.  

Taub Family Selections represents top sites in St. Helena, Rutherford, Oakville, Yountville, Mount Veeder, and Howell Mountain. Through a relationship with Andy Beckstoffer, the Taub family has access to the vineyards of Beckstoffer Vineyard Georges III (Rutherford) and Beckstoffer Missouri Hopper (Oakville) producing Cabernet Sauvignons since 2012. Winemaker Tom Hinde was previously known for his work at Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates, Hartford Family Winery, La Crema Winery, Lakoya, Cardinale, Stonestreet, and Verite. We’ll tap into his experience at creating brands and a strong market perspective to give us insight into why these vineyards command such respect.

We’ll also be speaking with Christopher Tynan, winemaker of Cliff Lede Vineyards whose experience includes working with Helen Turley at Blankiet Estate in Yountville, as the assistant winemaker at Colgin Cellars where he worked closely with Vineyard Manager David Abreu. We discuss the famed Poetry Vineyard that is carved into a steep west-facing hillside, which reaches from the highest elevations of the Stags Leap District sub-appellation to the valley floor drawing its uniqueness from shallow, volcanic soils atop fractured shale planted by David Abreu with high vine density and proprietary clonal selection. 

Top up your glass with one of Napa’s finest and join us as we hunt down some of Napa’s most unique terroirs.


Napa Crus Parttwo