2017 Crossbarn Chardonnay, Paul Hobbs, California, USA

Category: 14.5%/vol, chardonnay, Paul Hobbs, usa, white, £30-plus

Producer Profile

Raised on a farm on the east coast of the United States, Paul Hobbs grew up in a tee-total household but this did not stop his first taste of wine being Chateau Y'quem. It is tempting to say 'and the rest is history' and leave it at that, but there is so much more to this man.

Paul came to winemaking via studying to be a doctor and this scientific background and attention to detail has helped hone his approach to crafting wonderfully precise, complex wines in California, and around the world. He has famously been called the 'Steve Jobs' of wine by Forbes magazine and it is clear he is a driven perfectionist whose hard work has paid off with numerous 100 points scores from the critics. However, to stop there would do Paul an injustice. Notwithstanding his mainstream winemaking training at USC Davis, Paul has been a long advocate of low intervention methods.


Produced from fruit from carefully selected vineyards in prime appellations in the Sonoma Coast. Yield are carefully managed for maximum ripeness and concentration and the harvest is carried out by hand to ensure that the fruit is in immaculate condition when it arrives at the winery. The winery is certfied sustainable by the Certified California Sustainable Winegrowing alliance.


Whole-clusters are sent directly to press, with 90 to 95% fermented in stainless steeltank, 5 to 10% in neutral French oak barrels. Native and selected yeasts. 100% malolactic fermentation. Aged four to five months on the lees in French oak, Bottled unfined and with minimal use of SO2.

Oak Treatment

Time: 4 months
Type: French
% wine oaked: 5
% new oak: None

Tasting Note

Glistening straw yellow with a faint green hue and fragrant aromas of white flower, Asian pear, and wet stone underpin the wine’s expression of its true Sonoma Coast roots. Alluring stone fruit flavours carry the palate along with hints of citrus and honeysuckle that evolve into a creamy mid-palate before ending in a long, clean finish with crisp acidity.

Food Matching

Beautiful with seared or roast shellfish like lobster and scallops.

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