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Paul Hobbs Crossbarn Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 £46.50
PAUL HOBBS CROSSBARN NAPA VALLEY CABERNET SAUVIGNON
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 have 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.
Since the late 1980s, long before it was popular, Paul was using wild yeast to ferment and organic vineyard management techniques to get the best from his vines and protect the land. Like his wines, he is a complicated, multi-layered man and across all his ranges there is an elegance and lightness of touch that makes you realise there is a truly talented winemaker at work here. Produced from fruit from carefully selected vineyards in prime appellations in the Napa Valley. Yields 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.
Hand-harvested followed by a 5-day cold soak and 26-day total maceration. Primary fermentation using selected yeasts and native malolactic fermentation. Aged for 20 months in French and American oak, 18% new.
Dark ruby in colour, with enticing aromas of dark cherries, ripe blueberries, anise and fresh lavender. A tantalising palate offers a medley of boysenberry, currants, violets, clove and cocoa. Tannins are sweet and smooth; balanced acidity brightens a lengthy finish.
Try with Lamb shanks, casserole and game bird.