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. 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 was matured in French oak 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.
“The largest production cuvée is the 2018 Pinot Noir Russian River Valley, which comes from multiple sites and was aged 9 months in 43% new French oak. Readers looking for a great introduction into the wines of the estate can’t go wrong here. Medium ruby, it has beautiful aromatics of raspberries, black cherries, and strawberries, loads of spice, violets, and underbrush nuances, medium to full body, good acidity, and a silky, seamless texture. It’s beautifully done and well worth seeking out. Drink it any time over the coming 7-8 years.”
94 points, JebDunnuck.com, May 2020
“Made with about 10% whole cluster, the 2018 Pinot Noir has a medium ruby-purple color and a nose of cranberry sauce, rhubarb, tea leaves and earth with a spicy undercurrent. Medium-bodied, it’s concentrated and grainy with appealing juicy fruits and a long, lifted finish. 7,612 cases produced.”
93 points, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, Jul 2020
“The 2018 Pinot Noir (Russian River Valley) will show readers just how immensely appealing the 2018 vintage is for Pinot Noir. Rich, boisterous and inviting, the 2018 has so much to offer. An explosion of floral and spice notes leads to a core of juicy fruit as this super-expressive, inviting Pinot shows off its considerable allure. It is a real overachiever in this range.”
93 points, Antonio Galloni, vinous.com, Jan 2020