“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
Paul Hobbs has sourced fruit from the Dinner family’s vineyard since the winery’s inaugural 1991 vintage. With the 2014 vintage, the addition of fruit from a new block adds complexity and richness to what has historically been an impressive wine. Found in Sonoma County’s Sonoma Mountain AVA, rising above the town of Glen Ellen, this is a piece of land that manifests the region’s craggy terrain. For the most part, Sonoma Mountain is known for its Cabernet and Zinfandel, but the valleys and folds in the landscape create diverse growing environments. The landscape, in combination with long, bright, warm days; cool mornings and evenings driven by San Pablo Bay fog; and volcanic soil, presents wines that are consistently intense and age-worthy, regardless of varietal.
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 (63% new) for 15 months until it was bottled, unfined and unfiltered.
“Wow – I just love the intense nose of grapefruit essence and mandarin peels on 2014 Chardonnay Richard Dinner Vineyard with underlying yuzu, baker’s yeast and toasted almond hints. Full-bodied and voluptuously fruited in the mouth, it explodes with citrus intensity, plus it has a seamless backbone of acidity to inject vitality and wonderful length. Just gorgeous.”
96 points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Feb 2017
“More classic style chardonnay with lots of vanilla, flan, caramel, and dried apple on the nose. Full body, lots of richness. If you like more flamboyant style, go for this. Drink now.”
94 points, JamesSuckling.com, May 2017