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Average critic rating : 97.0 points
From the well-known grower, the 2013 Chardonnay Ulises Valdez is my favorite of the entire grouping of 2013s. Fabulous ripe fruit, notes of orange marmalade, honeysuckle, apple blossom and buttery citrus are all present in this full-bodied, full-throttle, very French style, grand cru-like Chardonnay. It should drink well for up to a decade or more. Paul Hobbs has emerged as one of the great success stories in Northern California. He’s an international consultant known for his outstanding work in Argentina. He is also now involved in a joint venture in the Finger Lakes region of New York, so hopefully we can anticipate some interesting Rieslings and possibly Grüner Veltliner, Pinot Blanc and even Gewurztraminer emerging from New York State. I had an extensive tasting with Hobbs at his winery in late January, and the results were all impressive. The tastings reflect the fact that, for Chardonnay, both 2013 and 2014 are brilliant vintages, and for Pinot Noir, 2014 may possibly eclipse 2013. As for the Bordeaux varietals, there’s no question that 2013 is the game-changer, as I indicated in previous reports, but 2014 is delicious and another top-notch success. Feb 2016, www.robertparker.com, Drink: 2016-2026
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