Monday, October 04, 2010

Sobon NOBOS Wine Tasting & Potluck

This wine-related post is from last year when my friends and I had a little potluck at my condo. Some of the wine we tried was made by Sobon Estates. I just visited Sobon yesterday at The Big Crush event. Pics and recap of the event to come, but in the meantime, enjoy this review of two of their NOBOS varietals.

What better way to taste wines you've been sent to try than to throw a potluck and share them with friends? I invited 15-20 people to come to my house last night (almost all either in the industry or with Twitter accounts). To test the newest offerings from Sobon Estates under the NOBOS label.

My tasting panel members with Twitter accounts included @baratin @scouthandford @sdalton97 @iamandia @marshwildman @sacramento365 & me, @cakegrrl. We tweeted during the tasting and after, trying to remember to use the hashtag search term: #NOBOStasting.

Everyone brought a dish to share, a pen and paper, and their palette for our "research" project. I figured the opinions of multiple fellow wine enthusiasts and people in the restaurant industry would add up to more than just my own. We also brought our mobile devices and digital cameras so the "project" could be blogged about here on

Getting ready to grab some plates and be seated for the tasting.

Before I talk about the wines, below are some of the things we had to eat. Keep in mind that when you are wine tasting the food should duke it out with the wine. All the food we brought together was on the mild, non-spicy side. Salads, bread, pita chips, nuts, mild cheeses, pastry apps...

Homemade Hummus and Baba Ghannouj with Sumac. Quite possibly one of my favorite foods, so I had to make to share with friends.

Me again, going all out with the whipped butter ala pastry bag. Thanks, Scout for the awesome pic. This butter could easily be used to describe the Chardonnay we tried.

Awesome salads by Linda. Ken's dressing product placement unintentional.

Appetizers featured brie and jam in pastry, brie and spinach in pastry, and chicken spinach sausage in what else? Pastry! I also made a casserole with spaghetti squash, 3 cheeses, and bacon.

The macaroni and cheese was fabulous. Made by @marshwildman and was topped with potato chips for a phenomenal crunch.

The first wine was the 2007 NOBOS Chardonnay.

This Chardonnay was grown in the Scheid Vineyards of Monterey. Alcohol: 14.8%. Retail: $20. Our tasting notes are as follows:

Nose: A dominate "Toasty Oak".
Tastes: Butter!, Fruity, pear, light citrus, clean.

I would consider the NOBOS a classic California Chardonnay; oakey and buttery. If you like that style, you'll love this one.

Comments: "Yum." "Tasty." "Easy to drink." "Balanced." "Well-rounded."

Pairing ideas: Honestly, it was terrific with the macaroni and cheese! Any shellfish with cream sauce would also work.

Next up was the 2005 NOBOS Merlot:

The Merlot grapes were grown in the Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma County. The alcohol on this one clocks in at 14.8%. Retail also $20.

Nose: Chocolatey, berries, cherry, currant.
Tastes: Ripe fruit forward, a little heat, dry, fast finish.

NOBOS Merlot is a great wine to drink if you have been staying away from Merlots because of that silly Sideways movie. Come back from your Sideways Merlot ban and feel some Merlove with this one. It was actually my favorite wine of the 3 we tried. I liked the heat and the chocolate aroma.

Comments: "Very dry!" "Smooth" "Well-Rounded" "Cherry" "Fast finish" "incredible" "Spicy" "Tobacco" "Tingles on the Tongue"

Pairing ideas: Meatloaf, prime rib, vegetable beef soup. Even a good cheeseburger.

Andrea & Lynda... (I think they are discussing how much they love the Merlot.)

The last NOBOS wine we tasted was the 2005 NOBOS Cabernet Sauvignon:

This Cabernet was made with grapes grown high above the Dry Creek Valley. The alcohol is 14.7%. Price point is $24.

Nose: Woody, cedar, not a lot of fruit but berry undertones.
Tastes: Spicy, not too tannic, plum, soft finish.

The NOBOS Cabernet was pretty well-liked amongst the group. I have trouble writing about Cabs because I prefer jammier Zinfandels and Syrahs. Still, no trouble drinking my portion!! and liked the nice balance. The tannins were well represented, but not overwhelming.

Comments: "dark fruit, cedar" "almost evergreen woody" "medium tannins" "smoother than the merlot" "balanced, oakey" "oak, spicy" "soft, a little lacking in complexity" "dry" "hint of pepper"

Pairing ideas: Steaks, pork chops, Beef Wellington

Once again, I'd like to thank my tasting panel and the friends they brought for helping me review last night's wines. It was a pleasant evening, and I look forward to enlisting your help for the next tasting very soon. Also, thanks to Robert Sobon and everyone at Sobon Wines for making consistently outstanding wine. I specifically recall a winemaker dinner I had at the Melting Pot.

Click on Sobon Wines for more information about the winery and the wines they produce (Sobon Estate, Shenandoah Vineyards, Vicious, NOBOS). You can also follow them on twitter for updates and to enter to win an occasional contest!

If you are a winemaker/operate a winery and are interested in having your wines featured on this website, you can contact me by following this link.

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