Paul Hobbs Walker Station Chardonnay 2006
Chardonnay from Sonoma County, California
Walker Station Vineyard produces a rich, elegant, layered chardonnay with crisp acidity and clean minerality. The 2006 is pale straw in color and offers luxuriant aromas of fresh orange blossom, stone fruit and custard. On the palate, focused flavors of ripe red apple, toasted brioche and citrus zest unfold in well-delineated layers, joined by subtle notes of tropical fruits, cedar and lemon over the long, refreshing finish.
The Wine Advocate - "Orange rind, guava, and mango, along with good fruit purity and medium to full body characterize this wine. It does not reveal the depth of the 2005, but there is plenty of flesh and fruit. It should be enjoyed over the next 2-3 years."
International Wine Cellar - "Light, cloudy yellow. Spicy lemon and green apple on the nose, with zesty herbal and floral qualities adding complexity. Tangy citrus and orchard fruit flavors offer impressive depth and vivacity, picking up white pepper and minerals on the close. Leaves a light smoky quality behind, along with a kick of lemon zest. Hobbs told me that wild mint grows in this vineyard and that it must somehow work its way into the wine."
Wine Spectator - "Wonderful spiced apple and pear flavors are pure and ripe, picking up a touch of fig and honeydew melon and then joined by smoky, toasty oak, which gives this a creamy, rich mouthfeel. Drink now through 2011."
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Paul Hobbs Winery
Paul Hobbs has built his winery's portfolio from the ground up on a foundation of strong, collaborative relationships with the growers of some of Napa's and Sonoma's most compelling and historical properties. Meticulous vineyard management followed by minimally-invasive winemaking techniques is Paul Hobbs approach for producing wines that express their vineyard origins with utmost finesse, complexity and authenticity; in other words, wines with a sense of place. As a winemaker, Paul is highly regarded for his ability to identify exceptional vineyards along with his pioneering, innovative work with new and historical sites and regions. His success has inspired a wealth of nicknames among the press, from quiet trendsetter to truffle-hunting dog. He founded Paul Hobbs Winery in 1991, Vina Cobos in 1999 and is a leading consultant winemaker around the globe. View all Paul Hobbs Winery Wines
About Sonoma CountyView a map of Sonoma County wineriesRelated Links:
Twice as large as Napa in size, Sonoma County only makes about a half the amount of wine as her northeasterly neighbor. But Sonoma, with her size, is able to vouch for more diversity within her borders, including sub-AVAs that are climatically varied. The atmosphere of Sonoma is decidedly laid back and down home country style. But in wines, they are keeping up with the Joneses, or Napa-ites if you will. Grape varieties are more varied here, from Pinot Noir and Zinfandel to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
Notable FactsThe largest sub-AVAs of Sonoma include Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Valley. Each sub-AVA, with its own micro-climate, is unique in its grape varieties and styles of wine. Dry Creek makes a mean Zinfandel while Russian River produces stand up Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Alexander Valley makes some of the better Cabernet Sauvignons in the county and Sonoma Valley creates excellent wines from all the above varieties. Other grapes found throughout Sonoma include Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.