Located on the southwestern edge of the Russian River Valley appellation in an area known as the Sebastopol Hills, this Chardonnay from George Menini Estate displays pale straw in color and boasts an elixir of white and yellow florals, tart yellow apple, bartlett pear, and baking spice. A precise yet supple wine with notes of juicy Gravenstein apple, vibrant sea salt, and crushed rock, complemented by a cool-climate zing of acidity. An impressive level of complexity for a young vineyard.
The name Paul Hobbs is synonymous with fine California winemaking. Born into a farming family in New York, Paul borrowed early life experience to reinvent modern winemaking by employing a classical approach that pays the utmost attention to quality farming and treating the fruit minimally so that it can convey a true sense of place. While his uncanny ability to ferret out unique and expressive vineyards and undiscovered regions has only enhanced his reputation, a resume that includes winemaking stints at Opus One and Simi, as well as consulting projects with Peter Michael, Fisher Vineyards and Lewis has helped position himself as one of California's best guiding hands in the cellar. All the wine projects lucky enough to be associated with Paul Hobbs are farmed sustainably. Furthermore, crop yields are kept low to boost flavor intensity, grapes are sorted by hand, juice is turned to wine with the aid of native yeasts and the wines are bottled without fining or filtration. Paul's reach spans far and wide, with his own wineries Paul Hobbs and CrossBarn in California, and Viña Cobos in Argentina. Word on the street is that he's even got his hands on grapes from Chile, Uruguay, France and Armenia. He's got us wondering, what will this globetrotting winemaker do next?
The 2021 Chardonnay George Menini Estate, matured for nine months in 27% new oak, is notably perfumed and energetic. The nose segues from iodine and saline to tones of panna cotta, lilac and yuzu, and the palate is stunning with its pairing of highly concentrated, layered flavors and fireworks of fresh acidity. It has a touch of anchoring textural grip, shimmery mineral character and a very long, expressive finish. It will be very long-lived in bottle
This is a dense and very limey chardonnay, with lemon-curd and crushed-stone aromas and flavors. It’s full-bodied and foursquare, with a solid structure and intense flavors. A mouthful of fruit. Chunky. Honeysuckle and nettles at the end. Agile for a big wine. Drink now or hold.