Chardonnay the best way. Tropical nose hints at banana, pineapple, citrus. In the mouth a slightly buttery feel, hints of buttered toast, melon, papaya. Paired with a salted pumpkin creme brûlée. Kaboom.
The first thing I noticed when pouring was how thick this wine was with a wonderful golden color and very long legs. Not very strong notes on the nose but what I do smell is oak and some green apples. On the palate some buttery minerals with tart green fruit. For a chardonnay it is very chewy with a long finish. The wine does not have a lot of fruit but has a clean slightly steely finish. A very good extremely well made wine but given its price and Paul Hobbs reputation not a high a rating as one would expect. A little disappointing but still impressive.
Best of the lot this evening and that included the Richard Dinner and the Ritchie Vineyards. The problem I have will all of PH's Chardonnays is the hit you over the head, smack you in the face, kick you in the shins intensity of his style. I liked this "simple bottling" best precisely because it was the least concentrated although I found the new oak almost overpowering at times and NOT a food to pair well with most foods that you might associate Chardonnay (at least Cali Chards) with. Disappointing. I have used this analogy before - the concentrated orange juice from a can - but it applies here and to the other two wines of his we tasted as well- Orange juice is swell stuff, I drink it for breakfast all the time. I take one can of frozen concentrate and add 3 cans of water. Note - I DO NOT DRINK THE CONCENTRATE STRAIGHT, even though I suppose PH would argue that it must taste just that much better. Often less is more but not in the case of the overly concentrated levels of juice he bottles up here. I noted lots of great amazing reviews so obviously someone out there likes this style (yech but good for you). I rated it as high as I did more out of respect for his abilities to concentrate, not the way I actually like it. I have dropped off his mailing list and have no plans to return anytime soon.
pulled this off the shelf at joe canal after having attended hobbs dinner at stage left in new brunswick. shared with pat, ellen and mahesh at selkirk manor. i fould it a little hard to get excited about this bottle. perhaps my expectations were set too high. i wonder whether CT scores are slightly inflated due to halo effect. reading tasting notes from others it appears that this wine is maturing quickly. a little surprising for 2007 which i thought produced robust wine. a little shy on the nose. hobbs' wine making style is evident with very expressive fruit that lasts in the glass without deteriorating. i was expecting a bit more body. perhaps i would have enjoyed this wine more soon after release.
Second time tasted in two year interval. This has developed considerably, from a big, bold in your face California chardonnay to something more Burgundian: medium body, supple, intense but expansive on the finish. In other words, very Sonoma Coast. Some flaws emerge at this point however: slightly harsh oak tannins, and a little too much sweetness on the finish. Hobbs' 2008s are better.
I am a fan of smooth, buttery chardannays in the Burgundian style. This wine fits that description. Not a lot of citrus on the nose or palate, as many California chards have today. A little oak and butter on the nose and palate, with pear and a little mineral. A very nice wine.
excellent chardonnay. we mainly drink red and dont usually like whites, but this bottle has a lot going on. layered with peach and pears, transitions into silky butter and finishes with balanced oak and smoke. bought another bottle the next day.
Light gold. Deep, pure inviting nose of fresh flowers, peach, tangerine and a hint of ripe banana. Rich, broad and juicy in the mouth. Nicely concentrated. Finishes long with nice lemon tinged acidity to round out the richness of the fruit. Lovely example of Russian River Valley Chardonnay.
Bright golden color with a light green hue. Deep and aromatic on the nose focusing on a distinctive Meyer lemon note. Rich broad and fat in the mouth but not overdone by any means. Lingering flavors of minerals and lemon. Rich and a pleasure to drink. Quintessential RRV Chardonnay.
J says: popped and poured! Typical California style: creamy, spicy nose of honey, almonds, vanilla and a little melon. Honey the dominant note on the palate, followed by apples and a little too much oak for my taste. Finish is round but satisfying. Stood up nicely to swordfish.
Exactly what I want with steamed lobster and corn on the cob!
Color: Light golden hue, vibrant
Nose: Meyer Lemon, some oak, but the spice makes this a really nice nose.
Palate: Citrus, exotic starfruit, bready, good oak integration, albeit for some this may be too much, I think it dresses well with the great fruit. A mineral streak mid way to the finish add extra complexity. Nicely done Paul!
Hard to give it a 90 due to prominent oak flavor. Needs a few years in the bottle to rest and allow the oak to calm down? Would buy again to lay down for a couple years. At $36, close to same price as Peay or Mt. Eden Estate, but not an equal to those wines.
Nose: Pineapples and pear, minerality, some white flowers and creme fresh
Palate: Explosive, yet refined. Great mouth feel and lingering finish, does pick up weight quickly the first 30 minutes as it warm up to room temperature. Lemons, subtle pineapple, a touch of cardamom and vanilla, exotic. Oak is there, but a compliment.
Food: Crab and shrimp cakes, watercress salad. Great pairing!
This is my first note on a Paul Hobbs bottle, though I have long been a Hobbs super-fan. We opened this particular Hobbs to sip late on a Sunday night and, per the usual, it was a highly enjoyable treat. The semi-translucent but still rich honey-yellow hue hints at the rich citrus (lemony?) flavor and slightly smokey-oaky texture. I have to wholeheartedly agree with the previous reviewer who noted that as the wine breathes its woodiness increasingly shines through - this is marginally disappointing as I feel that a winemaker of Hobbs' caliber does not need to hide behind oak, ever. Still, a great bottle that fits nicely as a sumptuous wine that you do not need a special occasion to enjoy. A solid 91+.
Sonoma-Napa Trip Day 4 and 5; 6/29/2009-6/30/2009 (Napa and Sonoma): Medium light gold with a slight haze. Light cereal toast French oak. Touch of pear fruit. Rich tangy sweet apple fruit. Pretty good. According to our host Lauren this is unfined/unfiltered, whole cluster press, indigenous yeast, primary and malo fermentations in barrel. $45
This is an elegant and well-crafted wine. Has good rich acidity and fruit to balance the oak. The longer the wine sits the more oak is displays, which is a negative for me. However popping and pouring yields immediate gratification with tropical fruits. It's a typical RRV Chardonnay. Not worth the tariff.
Fairly uninspiring Chardonnay. There's new oak here that dries the wine out, but its no disaster. The wine lacks freshness and acidity and the alcohol is just too prominent. Smith & Wollensky is charging $100 for this and that is just pure robbery.