After seeing comments here and the WS ratings have tried these over the last three weeks, including the Pine Ridge twice.
Pine Ridge SLD Tried this twice as the first time I tried it the conditions were chaotic. Kids, dogs what have you. It was good each time. A very smooth, fruit forward wine. In the glass it is deep and dark, almost inky. The flavor was very fruity berries, but still well structured and with a very nice finish. Nonetheless, I dont understand the WS 94 and at $60 I wont add to my cellar.
Whitehall Lane I have liked this winery for awhile. Solid well built wines with flavor and structure although the WS rating on the 97 is still suspect. The 99 is a very nice bottle of wine. Lighter in color than the Pine Ridge, more ruby colored. Another real fruit forward experience, with even a hint of strawberry flavor which I dont often taste in wine. Curious whether I will taste that again. Nice mid flavor with a slight bite at the finish. WS 93 is a bit generous, 91-92 would be about right to me. I have added a case to my cellar at $40.
Paul Hobbs Napa Cab I was pushed to try the 98 Hyde six months back and enjoyed it quite a bit. This 99 is in my mind exceptional, dark almost inky like the Pine Ridge and wonderful but not overpowering fruit flavor. The balance from start to finish in this bottle is a real treat. WS 93 seems a bit light to me, I would rate this 94+. I have added a case at $60.
All were decanted for an hour or more and tasted around the house with food of some kind, but the notes reflect mostly the initial taste prior to the meal.
Two questions for the crowd:
1. How long do people think these wines will last? I think they will be headed downhill well before the 88-89 Bordeaux I have cellared?
2. Clearly WS and WA have a different view of the Napa 99 vintage. From what I have tried (not just the above) 99 seems to me to have better wines across the board than 98, even if it does not come close to 97. Since my WA seems lost in the mail, does the WA 99 rating seem to be about the same as the 98 ratings or is it above that? Mostly I am curious about what people in the forum think?