The winemaker, Paul Hobbs, is one of the great masters of Cabernet Sauvignon, and his eponymously named wine is consistently one of the finest, vintage in and vintage out. It’s also one of the most sought-after Napa Valley wines, with a price tag to match. Its little brother, the CrossBarn, is one of the best-kept secrets in California.
The Paul Hobbs Cabernet is fermented using indigenous yeasts aged 20 months in French and American oak barrels and bottled unfined and unfiltered. He selects the best barrels to go the “Paul Hobbs” bottling. Most folks don’t know that Paul then makes another barrel selection, which goes into the “CrossBarn.” The rest gets sold off to other wineries.
The “CrossBarn” is remarkably similar to the “Paul Hobbs,” but at half the price. It is lush and dense with rich, soft tannins; it stains the glass with a deep crimson. Full-bodied, it offers up rich flavors of blackberry and burnt oak deeply embedded into a savory impression of fresh bay laurel and roses.