Crossbarn by Paul Hobbs Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir 2016
A brilliant ruby shade and lively aromas of red cherry, perfumed violet, and flaky pie crust, reveal this wine’s Sonoma Coast origins from the outset. A full palate of round, sumptuous fruit, along with flavors of earl grey tea and red clay, interact with its finely grained tannins. Balanced and elegant, the wine is playful throughout the long, energetic finish.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
The fruit pops out here with lots of crushed-strawberry and floral character. Full-bodied yet bright and focused. Hints of vanilla, fruit and cream. Flavorful finish.
Medium to deep ruby-purple colored, the 2016 Pinot Noir offers lovely baked raspberries, black cherries and mulberries notes with touches of chocolate box, earth, menthol and dried herbs with a waft of violets. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is laden with red and black berries flavors plus earthy/herbal undertones and a plush frame, finishing with great freshness.
Growing up on a working farm in upstate New York, Paul experienced first-hand the influence of terroir on the character of fruit, when his father had him taste apples of the same variety 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. One of eleven children, Paul helped his father achieve a lifelong dream of transforming some of the farm's acreage from apples, nuts and peaches to wine grapes.
As a winemaker, Paul is highly regarded for his ability to identify exceptional vineyards, and for his pioneering spirit in working innovatively with new and historical sites and regions. His success has inspired a wealth of nicknames among the press, from quiet trendsetter to prospector to truffle-hunting dog. Initially hired by Robert Mondavi for his advanced understanding of oak aging, he was soon promoted to the inaugural Opus One winemaking team. Following his Mondavi experience Paul joined Simi Winery as Winemaker before going on to consult for Peter Michael, Fisher Vineyards, Lewis Cellars, Bodegas Catena and others. Having founded Paul Hobbs Winery in 1991 and Vina Cobos in 1999, he continues to be a leading consultant winemaker around the globe.
CrossBarn began as just one small lot of Cabernet Sauvignon from the 2000 vintage but its popularity has inspired the introduction of chardonnay and pinot noir, to make a family of three. With CrossBarn, Paul ventures beyond the vineyards sourced for Paul Hobbs wines while holding to his ideals of sustainable vineyard practices and gentle winemaking techniques, to bring you wines of stunning quality and exceptional value.
A vast appellation covering Sonoma County’s Pacific coastline, the Sonoma Coast AVA runs all the way from the Mendocino County border, south to the San Pablo Bay. The region can actually be divided into two sections—the actual coastal vineyards, marked by marine soils, cool temperatures and saline ocean breezes—and the warmer, drier vineyards further inland, which are still heavily influenced by the Pacific but not quite with same intensity.
Contained within the appellation are the much smaller Fort Ross-Seaview and Petaluma Gap AVAs.
One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).
In the Glass
Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.
Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.
For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay, not Pinot noir. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Village or Cru level wines. So "red Burgundy" still necessarily refers to Pinot noir.