2013 Paul Hobbs "Crossbarn" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Even better news is the Crossbarn 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Napa. There are 10,500+ cases of this wine, and while $50.00 is hardly a bargain, this is a brilliant wine from Hobbs. There is a little Merlot and Cabernet Franc in the blend, but it reflects this great vintage, revealing blueberry, blackberry and cassis as well as some licorice, incense, and forest floor. The wine has full-bodied opulence, a sumptuous mouthfeel, and is just a terrific, savory, expansive Cabernet Sauvignon that should drink well for 15 or more years. 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.
*One Star* Sufficiently ripe as to hint at chocolate and more suggestive of dark berries and cherries than it is of classic varietal currants, this rich and weighty wine manages to keep Cabernet in its sights but definitely strikes out on a path of its own. It lets a bit of heat work its way into the finish without letting ripeness overwhelm its message of fruit, and its nicely moderated tannins will ease enough to allow for friendly drinking in no more than two or three years.
Dark red cherry, plum, smoke, licorice and spice meld together in the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Crossbarn (Napa Valley). Silky, racy and open-knit, the 2013 is a delicious wine to drink now and over the next few years. The flavors are bold, punchy and incisive, with firm tannins that could use another 6-12 months to soften. Paul Hobbs's Crossbarn label is a great place to look for values. The Sonoma Cabernet benefits from lower cost of fruit versus Napa Valley, while the new Cabernet Franc is a welcome addition to the range, as it delivers both considerable quality and value.