With the 2017, 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.
“Moving to the Pinot Noirs, the 2017 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley is the appellation release from Hobbs, and it’s brought up all in French oak. Black raspberries, bouquet garni, crushed flowers, and honeyed strawberry notes all emerge from this beautifully polished, medium-bodied, seamless effort. With lots of upfront fruit, plenty of underlying depth and structure, and a great finish, it’s a winner. Drink it over the coming decade.”
95 points, JebDunnuck.com, Sept 2019
“Blueberries, brambleberries, elderberries, raspberry and crushed violets. I love the firm tannins, bright acidity and herbal undertones. Drink now or hold.”
93 points, JamesSuckling.com, May 2019
“The 2017 Pinot Noir is pale to medium ruby-purple coloured and reveals gregarious notes of crushed black and red cherries, warm raspberries and mulberries with touches of baking spices, red roses and spearmint. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is completely packed with red and black berry layers, framed by plush tannins and a lively line, finishing long and spicey. 7,265 cases produced, to be released in March 2019.”
92 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Oct 2018