With the 2014, Paul Hobbs presents a classic rendering of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. This is a rich yet bright wine that brings together fruit from some of the region’s best growers: Katherine Lindsay Estate, Goldrock Ridge Vineyard, Schell Ranch Estate, Gap’s Crown, Fraenkle-Cheshier, and Donna Margarita.
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 hand-sorted while still cool from the field. Following a five-day cold soak, the wine was fermented with a small quantity of whole bunches in open-top stainless steel tanks by indigenous yeast. Spontaneous malolactic fermentation occurred after the wine was racked to barrels. The wine spent 11 months total in French oak (44% new) before it was bottled, unfined and unfiltered.
This is a quintessential Russian River Pinot. Deep ruby red in colour with a spicy red cherry nose, the palate unravels in layers of plum, raspberry, and black tea. Fine-grained tannins, fresh acidity, and a velvety mouthfeel add tension and structure.
“The 2014 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley) is terrific. Bright, nuanced and savory, the straight Russian River Pinot has all the attributes of this strong vintage. Sweet floral notes round out a Pinot that is understated and silky. This is a rare appellation-level Pinot that could use another few years in bottle to fully flesh out.”
93 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, Feb 2016
“Exhibits a distinctive streak of crushed rock and loamy earth amid the tannic wild berry and savory notes, showing a kiss of oak and transforming into a celebration of licorice and anise elements. Drink now through 2025.”
93 points, Wine Spectator, Feb 2017
“Lots of plum and blueberry character with hints of wet earth. Black tea notes. Full body, rich and flavorful. So much going on here. Pretty now but better in 2019.”
93 points, JamesSuckling.com, May 2017
“The 2014 Pinot Noirs are richer wines. The 2014 Pinot Noir Russian River, which is in bottle, displays a seamless integration of acidity, tannin, medium to full body, and lots of raspberry and black cherry fruit that moves toward bluer fruits on the palate. This is a beauty to drink over the next 7-8 years.”
91 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, March 2016