Paul Hobbs’s Russian River Chardonnay brings together fruit from some of the area’s most prestigious vineyards, vineyards planted in the valley’s unique weathered sandstone soil. Highlighting the best characteristics of the region, this Chardonnay is a real beauty in the glass: pearlescent pale straw, with lifted aromas of citrus, chamomile tea, and a whole meadow of yellow flowers. The richly-textured palate is layered with white fruit and brioche, and the long finish closes with a hint of minerality.
This wine, product of a remarkably long growing season (and the third consecutive year of drought), shows concentrated flavours and wonderful balance and texture. Indeed, you could say that the 2015 growing season began in late winter, when an unseasonably warm spring brought about early bud break. Ultimately, temperatures cooled as the season carried on, and yields were lighter than average, with small clusters and berries.
Harvested at night in early September, when fruit is cool and flavours are fresh, grapes were whole-cluster pressed while still cold from the field. Following a long, slow barrel ferment and complete, spontaneous malolactic ferment by indigenous yeast, the wine matured 12 months in French oak (50% new) and four months in stainless steel. Fine lees were stirred bi-weekly, introducing rich texture and beautiful bakery aromatics. The finished wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered.
“The 2015 Chardonnay explodes on the nose and palate with sheer power, delivering full-throttle tropical fruit and allspice flavors with a touch of buttered toast. The full-bodied palate has a lovely savory edge that offsets the fruit beautifully, with just enough freshness and a very long finish.”
(91-92) points, Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Feb 2017
“A layered and rich wine with cooked-apple and -lemon character. Round and phenolic. Flan and light butterscotch. Lovely potential.”
(92-93) points, JamesSuckling.com, May 2017
“The 2015 Chardonnay (Russian River Valley) is round, succulent and open-knit, all qualities that will make it easy to drink upon release. In 2015, the Russian River Chardonnay has a bit more richness than it often does. This is another strong vintage for this consistently outstanding, widely available Chardonnay.”
(90-92) points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, March 2017
“Zeroes in on a core of lively, citrus-infused green apple, melon, tangerine and honeydew flavors, revealing a light kiss of smoky, toasty oak that adds dimension. Drink now through 2020.”
90 points, Wine Spectator, June 2017