Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir George Menini Estate, Russian River Valley 2021

Medium purple-ruby color; raspberry, strawberry, baking spice on the nose; blueberry, raspberry, cherry, strawberry, vanilla on the palate.

Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir George Menini Estate, Russian River Valley 2021

Dry; supple, easily approachable tannins; balancing, juicy acidity. Bright, focused red fruit wine. Medium body. Hand-sorted in the field; 15% whole cluster fermentation. Fermented in small, open-top stainless steel tanks with indigenous yeasts. Five-day cold soak, 14 days of maceration, thus the color depth. Gentle punchdowns. Spontaneous malolactic fermentation. Aged nine month in French oak, 25% new—thus the very subtle oak influence. Bottles unfined and unfiltered. This is Paul Hobbs inaugural release from Sebastopol Hills. 14.2% ABV

Paul Hobbs’s childhood roots trace to a family farm in Western New York growing apples. He particularly is associated with a scientific approach to the art of winemaking. His focus is excellence in stewardship of the land and crafting of wines that reflect the land. In the early 1990s, he was a pioneer in site-specific, vineyard-designated wines.

Paul Hobbs

Hobbs has earned an international reputation in wine during his 40-year career. In 2013, Forbes Magazine referred to him as “the Steve Jobs of wine.” He earned a BS in chemistry from the University of Notre Dame in 1975 and a MS in viticulture & enology from the University of California-Davis in 1978. He was a member of inaugural Opus One winemaking team in 1979.

He worked in Argentina beginning in 1988 and is credited as being a major factor in the rise of malbec to world class status in that country. Today, Hobbs is owner and vintner for eight wineries around the world: Paul Hobbs Winery, Crossbarn, and HOBBS (California), Hillick & Hobbs (Finger Lakes, New York), Viña Cobos (Argentina), Crocus (Cahors, France), Yacoubian- Hobbs (Armenia), and Alvaredos-Hobbs (Galicia, Spain).

Paul Hobbs director of vineyards Brycen Hill
Paul Hobbs director of winemaking Jake Pickett

With that much responsibility around the world, Hobbs must rely of high quality partners to achieve his objectives at his namesake winery in Napa. Brycen Hill is the director of vineyards. Jake Pickett is the director of winemaking. Hobbs notes: “Our team of farmers and vintners is crucial in the perpetual quest to discover and elevate our terroirs. That’s why we’ve cultivated a team of curious people who are uncompromising in their work ethic and passionate about the nuances of each vineyard. Together, we make better wine.”

Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir George Menini Estate, Russian River Valley 2021: Most salient characteristics are smoothness, deliciousness, subtle drinkability. This certainly is not an assertive pinot, which is a good thing. Gentle, sophisticated and elegant. An excellent wine at a responsible price. Pair with salmon and other fleshy fish; steamed mussels and other shellfish; pork; freshwater fish; this is rich enough to work with grilled, lighter beef; lamb, veal, venison; pork; braised duck. Grilled vegetables; grilled vegetarian fare. Cheese—fresh cheeses, mixed milk cheeses, soft goat cheeses; burrata, mozzarella, feta, mascarpone, rocchetta. $95

Paul Hobbs website

Paul Hobbs winery and vineyard
Paul Hobbs vineyard
Paul Hobbs harvest
Inaugural Opus One team-Paul Hobbs is far right in back row