With the 2016, Paul Hobbs presents a classic rendering of Russian River Valley Pinot Noir. It is a rich yet bright wine that brings together the fruit from some of the region’s best growers: Katherine Lindsay Estate, Goldrock Ridge Vineyard, Schell Ranch Estate, Roger Wishard Estate, and Doña Margarita. Intense and concentrated, this is the product of a small crop and a long, cool vintage when yields were low and clusters and berries were small.
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 10 months total in French oak, 45% new, before it was bottled unfined and unfiltered.
Showing deep crimson in the glass, this is a wine with an assertive nose of plush aromatics: Morello cherry, mulberry, baking spice, and red clay. The texture is refined and alluring, giving way to focused flavours of boysenberry, bergamot, and iron through a lengthy finish. Fine-grained tannins, fresh acidity, and a velvety mouthfeel add tension and structure.
“These latest releases from Paul Hobbs are pretty much sensational across the board and Hobbs’ finds a rare mix of purity and elegance matched to richness and concentration that hits all my sweet spots. Hobbs commented that 2016 was a perfect vintage where everything came together easily, and the resulting wines have a terrific sense of elegance, purity an balance that make them already irresistible, yet will also allow them to age gracefully. In addition, the lineup is easy to understand; Hobbs makes an appellation blend Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and two single vineyards of each variety. Leading off the Pinot Noirs, the 2016 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley is a classic wine from this region as well as a great example of the style of this estate. Ripe black cherries, currants, flowers, and earthy notes all flow to a full-bodied, concentrated 2016 that has a beautiful sense of purity and elegance. Drink it anytime over the coming decade.”
96 points, JebDunnuck.com, June 2018
“Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Pinot Noir reveals pronounced black cherries, wild blueberries, baking spices and dark chocolate notes plus an alluring waft of red roses. Full-bodied, concentrated and plushly textured, it fills the palate with decadent fruit and tons of spicy accents, finishing with fantastic length.”
93 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, June 2018
“Elderberry essence, blueberry perfume, blackberry tea, some grapefruit rind and granite. Medium body, vibrant acidity, fine tannins and a fresh, citrusy finish with tons of tangy fruit. Drink now.”
93 points, JamesSuckling.com, May 2018
“The 2016 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley) is bright, fresh and wonderfully nuanced, with striking delineation to play off the plump Russian River fruit. This is a gorgeous appellation-level Pinot from Paul Hobbs.”
90-92 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, April 2018