2014 Paul Hobbs "Richard Dinner" Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay

SKU #1254697 93-95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The two 2014 cuvées from the Richard Dinner Vineyard are both full-throttle Chardonnays, with the Cuvée Agustina just bigger, denser, richer and, to my taste, even superior to the 2013 version. Both should drink well for 7-10 years. Paul Hobbs has emerged as one of the great success stories in Northern California. He’s an international consultant known for his outstanding work in Argentina. He is also now involved in a joint venture in the Finger Lakes region of New York, so hopefully we can anticipate some interesting Rieslings and possibly Grüner Veltliner, Pinot Blanc and even Gewurztraminer emerging from New York State. I had an extensive tasting with Hobbs at his winery in late January, and the results were all impressive. The tastings reflect the fact that, for Chardonnay, both 2013 and 2014 are brilliant vintages, and for Pinot Noir, 2014 may possibly eclipse 2013. As for the Bordeaux varietals, there’s no question that 2013 is the game-changer, as I indicated in previous reports, but 2014 is delicious and another top-notch success. (RP)  (3/2016)

91-93 points Vinous

 The 2014 Chardonnay Richard Dinner Vineyard is quite rich and ample on the palate, as it so often is. Ripe orchard fruit, dried flowers, mint and honey fill out the wine's broad frame nicely. This is an especially big vintage for the Richard Dinner. At the same time, I suspect the 2014 will perk up a bit after the final SO2 additions, as it is just a little bit flat today. Paul Hobbs describes 2013 as a consistently warm, dry year but without excesses. I remember stopping by in January of that year, and being quite surprised when Hobbs told me he was likely to start irrigating imminently, which is highlyunusual. Then again, the drought was already causing stress in the vineyards. Overall, the 2014s have a touch more natural acidity and as well as more overall brightness and tension. New oak is up in the 2014s, but most wines appear to have the underlying material to support the oak and what is projected to be longer time in barrel. Most importantly, the 2014s show greater delineation of site than the 2013s. (AG)  (1/2016)

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Varietal:

Chardonnay

- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).
Alcohol Content (%): 14.1