“Paul Hobbs has emerged as one of the great success stories in Northern California […] I had an extensive tasting with Hobbs at his winery in late January, and the results were all impressive. The tastings reflect the fact that, for Chardonnay, both 2013 and 2014 are brilliant vintages.”
Robert Parker on Paul Hobbs Winery, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, March 2016
The hillside Ellen Lane estate, located in the Russian River Valley sub-appellation of Green Valley, highlights the high-toned, precise beauty of cool-climate Chardonnay. The soil here is threaded with veins of well-drained gravel and clay loam, and the vineyard’s Western exposure captures the afternoon sun.
The 2014 growing season was the third in a string of outstanding growing seasons. What a run! Dry winter and spring conditions limited canopy vigour, and a warm summer without disruptive heat spikes resulted in steady, even ripening through to harvest. The resulting wines possess great site specificity and depth.
Hand-harvested fruit, picked at night when a chill hangs in the air, was whole-cluster pressed while fruit was still cool from the field. The wine was barrel-fermented by indigenous yeast, then went through spontaneous malolactic fermentation while in barrel. The wine remained in French oak (53% new) for 15 months until it was bottled, unfined and unfiltered.
“Leading with beautiful floral notes of orange blossoms and honeysuckle, the 2014 Chardonnay Ellen Lane Estate offers a core of baked peaches, apple pie and marzipan. Full-bodied, buxom and seductively creamy in the mouth, it offers layer upon layer of perfumed stone fruit and mineral flavors, with incredible length.”
96 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Feb 2017
“A round and rich style here with wonderful lift at the end. Full and rich yet always agile and focused. Oily texture but not overdone. Stone undertone at the finish. Drink or hold.”
94 points, JamesSuckling.com, May 2017