Paul Hobbs, Pinot Noir, Russian River, California, USA, 2021
Raised on a farm on the east coast of the United States, Paul Hobbs grew up in a tee-total household but this did not stop his first taste of wine being Chateau d'Yquem. It is tempting to say 'and the rest is history' and leave it at that, but there is so much more to this man.
Paul came to winemaking via studying to be a doctor and this scientific background and attention to detail has helped hone his approach to crafting wonderfully precise, complex wines in California, and around the world. He has famously been called the 'Steve Jobs' of wine by Forbes magazine and it is clear he is a driven perfectionist whose hard work has paid off with numerous 100 points scores from the critics. However, to stop there would do Paul an injustice. Notwithstanding his mainstream winemaking training at UC Davis, Paul is an advocate of low intervention methods.
Pinot Noir is grown across various sites and exposures including Sebatstopol series - sandy clay loam, red clay and coarse, gravelly loam soils. Yields are around 3.74 tonnes per acre. Harvested by hand using shears at night.
Hand‐harvested grapes, sorted whilst still cold from the field are fermented in small, open‐top stainless steel fermenters with indigenous yeasts with a 5 day cold soak, 17 day average total maceration. Spontaneous malolactic fermentation in barrels, aged for around 9 to 10 months in small French oak barrels; and around 30 to 45% new oak. Bottled unfined and unfiltered.
% wine oaked: 100
% new oak: 30
The estates play a leading role in this wine with fruit selected across the appellation for its purity, richness, and elegance. Violet in hue, the 2021 vintage entices with pomegranate, dark cherry, and black tea. The voluptuous texture fuses with layered notes of boysenberry, bergamot, and hints of sage. As it moves across the palate both acid and fine-grained tannins are flawlessly integrated, accentuated by a red clay minerality. This is a refined and graceful wine with lively acidity, leading to a long finish.
Delightful with wild mushroom tartine, roast quail, or rosemary-rubbed leg of lamb.
Pinot Noir 100%
12 x 75cl
Award: Robert Parkers The Wine Advocate 90 Points