2011 Paul Hobbs "Edward James Estate" Russian River Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1154814 93 points Wine Enthusiast

 Few Chardonnays in California exhibit this fruit power. It’s explosive in apricots, oranges, mangoes, lime and Meyer lemons, all enriched with sweet, toasty oak. With brisk acidity, it’s a balanced wine, but too massive to appreciate now. Drink in 2-3 years.  (12/2013)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright gold. A complex, heady bouquet evokes quince, pear skin, ginger and jasmine, along with a strong mineral overtone. Taut and linear on entry, then fleshier in the mid-palate, offering vibrant, smoke- and lees-accented citrus and orchard fruit flavors and a hint of candied ginger. Finishes spicy and clean, with impressive focus and a lingering floral quality.  (6/2013)

92 points Vinous

 The 2011 Chardonnay Edward James Estate is deep, powerful and intense to the core. Smoke, nectarine and pastry notes add complexity on the broad-shouldered finish as the Edward James shows off its huge fruit and voluptuous personality. The low yields of the vintage and the inherent richness of this Hyde selection of the Wente clone give the 2011 much of its texture.  (2/2014)

90 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 From the Old Wente and Hyde clones of Chardonnay planted in the Goldridge soils that surround the Hobbs winery, the 2011 Chardonnay Edward James Estate possesses a light gold color, good acidity, and hints of tropical fruits, white currants and peaches, with the oak pushed to the background. This fresh, delicious, successful 2011 should drink well for 2-3 years.  (12/2013)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Rich and expressive, with intense honeydew melon, pear and floral spice notes on the nose and palate, fanning out and gaining depth on the finish. Drink now through 2018.  (2/2014)

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Price: $69.99

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- 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.

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.


- 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.
Specific Appellation:

Alexander Valley/Russian River

- Among Sonoma County's northernmost appellations, the Alexander Valley AVA acts as a gateway to neighboring Napa to the east and Mendocino to the north. It is a sprawling appellation, with pockets of distinct microclimates and soils, and as such, is home to a variety of wine grapes and styles. Nearly everything grows in the Alexander Valley, though Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the most widely planted grapes. The Russian River Valley lies to the south of Alexander Valley, and is marked by much cooler temperatures and frequently heavy fog. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown here are some of the state's finest and most sought-after. Aromatic whites like Gewürztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.