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The King Of California Wine Paul Hobbs

Killer Chardonnay/ 90pts Parker at $21.99 / SAVE 33%

Paul Hobbs is a California wine making treasure. His single vineyard Napa Cabs go for hundreds of dollars a bottle and are some of the most sought after wines in California. He also makes great quality on the value side and this Chardonnay, the 2012 Paul Hobbs Crossbarn Chardonnay, is a spectacular Chardonnay for the money. The 2012 is a buy vintage for California, one of the greats. From carefully selected vineyards from the cooler Sonoma Coast, ideal for great Cali Chardonnay. You will flip for this Chardonnay at the price.

Irrefutably, Paul Hobbs is one of America’s most reputable winemakers. Hobbs got off to a flying start early in his winemaking career by working for Robert Mondavi, Opus One and Simi, and then later consulting for labels such as Lewis and Peter Michael. Today, not only does Hobbs own and operate his winery in Sebastopol, California (which sources fruit from some of the most prized vineyards in Napa and Sonoma), he also continues to work as a consultant winemaker for brands as close as Napa and as far away as Eastern Europe and South America.

For Paul, his childhood farm life instilled a deep sense of respect for family, love of the land, and the joys of collaborative effort. The family’s “cross barn” was nestled in the middle of a one hundred fifty year old family farm in upstate New York. While working on the farm, Paul experienced first-hand the influence of terroir on the character of fruit, when his father had him taste apples of the same variety yet grown in different orchards several miles apart from one another. The diversity of flavors and textures made an impression on him and would later influence his approach to winemaking, and so Paul is highly regarded for his ability to identify exceptional vineyards along with his pioneering, innovative work with new and historical sites and regions. The Paul Hobbs’ CrossBarn Chardonnay wine is a reflection of those ideals and of his commitment to sustainable vineyard practices and gentle winemaking techniques. Produced using hand-harvested fruit from carefully selected vineyards within the Sonoma Coast appellation, CrossBarn Chardonnay offers structure and weight in balance with pure concentrated fruit.

The 2012 vintage graced Sonoma County with an absolutely perfect wine growing season. A mild winter gave way to a gentle, warm spring, followed by summer temperatures rising slowly throughout the season and rays of sunshine ripened the perfectly formed grapes. The vineyards along the Sonoma Coast feature marine influences that define this sweeping appellation, so the temperatures are moderate, with evenings dipping to 40s as a result of the fog off Bodega Bay and day time highs typically in the low 70s. Growing grapes in this dramatically cool western reaches of Sonoma County is complex and demanding, with the end result truly worth the risk. The resulting fruit produces wines that are elegant and intensely structured. As harvest approached temperatures increased which allowed flavor, acid and sugars to find harmony. The wines from 2012 are expressive, balanced and elegant.

The production:

Hand-harvested, whole-cluster, direct to press; 80% fermented in tank, 20% in neutral French oak barrels; fermented using native and selected yeasts; 100% malolactic-fermentation; unfined. Bottled March 2013.

The reviews:

“Pale yellow in color, this refreshing chardonnay is fragrant with honeysuckle, pear and Meyer lemon. The mouth-filling palate opens with vibrant flavors of Fuji apple, nectarine and mandarin oil. Citrus notes grace a crisp finish.” – Paul Hobbs

“The outstanding 2012 Chardonnay Cross Barn offers plenty of orange marmalade, lemon oil and white peach aromas, went through 100% malolactic fermentation.With a richer, more tropical personality. It is a big-time winner as well as a great value. Enjoy it over the next 3-4 years.” – 90 pts. Robert Parker (12/2013).

“This seems almost sweet in vanilla, honey and buttered toast, with ripe pineapple, orange and tropical fruit flavors. A great burst of acidity provides balance. Drink now for its sheer lusciousness.” – Wine Enthusiast (10/2013).