Paul Hobbs Ellen Lane Estate Chardonnay 2018
From our small, sloping estate in the Green Valley sub-appellation of the Russian River Valley. Aromas of lychee and white peach lead to a racy palate of nectarine and lemon zest, finishing with energizing acidity.
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More tart citrus, caramelized pineapple, white flowers, and Meyer lemon notes emerge from the 2018 Chardonnay Ellen Lane Estate, another flawlessly balanced Chardonnay from Hobbs. Medium to full-bodied, with terrific acidity yet also terrific concentration, it’s drinking spot on already, with the more flattering, charming style of the 2018 vintage, yet is going to evolve for 5-7 years with no problems.
The 2018 Chardonnay Ellen Lane Estate opens slowly to scents of toast, stone, cashew and white apricot with hints of pastry. The palate is elegant, with stony notions and toasty fruit layers enlivened by tangy acidity with a long, delicate finish.
Deep and youthful, yet already inviting and not at all held back in rich fruit and gorgeous creamy oak on the nose, Mr. Hobbs’s Ellen Lane Chardonnay verges on opulence without going to extremes. It is as exuberant as it is concentrated and far-ranging in character with a great sense of stamina and a terrifically sustained finish that refuses to quit, and the only problem it poses is that waiting for the three or four years needed for it to grow into its very considerable best is likely to test the will power of even the most patient collectors of top shelf Chardonnays.
Pioneering winemaker Paul Hobbs established his namesake winery in 1991 with the vision and dedication to sustainably craft wines with minimal intervention and meticulous care to capture the purist concept of place. Widely recognized for forging new paths in pursuit of excellence, Paul Hobbs Winery is the pinnacle reflection of our desire to showcase the individuality of new and historical sites in Napa Valley and Sonoma County.
A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, the Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river that flows through it. While there are warm pockets of the AVA, it is mostly a cool-climate growing region thanks to breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean.
Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reign supreme in Russian River, with the best examples demonstrating a unique combination of richness and restraint. The cool weather makes Russian River an ideal AVA for sparkling wine production, utilizing the aforementioned varieties. Zinfandel also performs exceptionally well here. Within the Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. The former, farther from the ocean, is relatively warm, with a focus on red and white Bordeaux varieties. The latter is the coolest, foggiest parcel of the Russian River Valley and is responsible for outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.