Paul Hobbs, Crossbarn Chardonnay, Napa, 2021


A scintillating Chardonnay from a one of its favourite growing regions, this is a bright refreshing and engaging Chardonnay that truly represents the Sonoma region from where it comes.

Made with no oak ageing or barrel fermentation at all, this is as pure an American Chardonnay as you'll ever find. Complex and lively with flavours of green apples, blossom and lemon meringue, the racy acidity provides a long and mouth-coating finish. How?! Because of the lees-ageing and 100% Malo-lactic fermentation, increasing texture, body and flavour.

This is a very, very fine wine, akin to a Chablis Grand Cru but without the oak and with more sunshine... plus it doen't come from one vineyard, but a selection of the best Chardonnay sites across the Sonoma Coast. So it's not like Chablis Grand Cru at all, really; but there is a qualitative similarity of palate weight and complexity that celebrates fruit flavour and terroir above winemaking interference.

Paul Hobbs is big into hands-off winemaking, which seems counter-intuitive for a man who has such a phenomenal reputation as a brilliant winemaker. This wine is made from whole-bunches of night-time-harvested hand-picked grapes, and is bottled unfiltered and unfined and uses almost zero So2. And the winery is certified sustainable.

Paul Hobbs' wines always tell a story that communicates place, terroir and variety. Raised in a tee-total farmstead on the East Coast of the USA, ending up in California as a superstar winemaker didn't seem on the cards. Indeed, he studied medicine before taking the path of wine studies in UC Davis. A scientific approach to all matters wine-related may be accurate, but it leaves out the sense of charm and warmth so associated with his wines that seems far more artistic than scientific. Certainly his decisions are carefully made and planned to bring precision and clarity to the wines, but that alone doesn't bring numerous 100-point ratings: he has great charisma and passion for winemaking, taking him to numerous international projects in countries including France and Argentina. Wines made in his wineries are always noteworthy, but it is the Californian range that have so much built his reputation. Monumental and structured, typical of the region and style, his wines interestingly do not just copy the neighbours or blindly follow set standards: his winemaking is exceptionally rooted in the vineyards that he farms and his wines (though pretty intense, for sure) always have a vibrancy and freshness from his respect to the soil. It's like organics and biodynamism, but more pragmatic; and in the winery, it's like a natural wine approach, but more sensible and certainly not bound to any one creed, other than what he believes is best for any one crop of fruit in any one vintage. In short, it's hard-graft vineyard management and hard-graft, low-intervention wine making. Completely brilliant.

Region: Napa Valley

Country: USA

Grape(s): Chardonnay

Style: Vibrant, Vegan Friendly, Svelte, Sustainable, Structured, Smooth, Silky, Round, Pure, Organic, Mineral, Medium Full, Intense, Iconic, Fruity, Fresh, Elegant, Complex, Bright, Balanced

Best food matches: Warm Salads, Venison, Tuna, Trout, Sushi, Steak, St Stephen's Day, Soft Cheeses, Shellfish, Seafood, Scallops, Salads, Roasts, Red Meats, Poultry, Pork, Oysters, Mature Cheeses, Lobster, Lamb, Hard Cheeses, Grills, Grilled Vegetables, Game, Fine Dining, Duck, Christmas Dinner, Cheeses, Charcuterie

Alcohol: 14%

Why buy from us?

When you buy wine from The Allotment Wine Co. you're helping a small Irish company that in turn supports small, sustainable wine producers who grow the grapes and make amazing wines. We only work with partners who share a deep respect and connection with the land and its traditions, witnessed in a firm commitment to quality and sustainability. All of which makes for better wines.

Delivery & Returns

You'll get free delivery when you buy 12 x 75cl bottles of wine online from The Allotment, saving you €7.99.

We charge €7.99 per delivery for quantities less than that.

Our hours for processing orders are between 9am - 6pm Monday to Friday.

We pack your online wine order along the following timelines:

Wine orders for delivery in Dublin, received before 12pm on weekdays are prepared so that delivery should be expected the next working day.

Wine orders for nationwide delivery, received by 12pm on weekdays are prepared so that delivery should be expected two working days later.

Customer reviews

Great choice and excellent service. Received my delivery the next day.
Paul H.
Amazing service from the get go!
I emailed Chris looking for wine recommendations for a birthday gift. Got a really speedy, helpful reply and not only that but he hand delivered it on time to the birthday girl wishing her a happy birthday. Absolutely bowled over by the service. Cannot recommend highly enough.
Michelle McM.
Could not recommend The Allotment enough. The selection is fantastic and each wine that I've drank from them has been utterly phenomenal. Delivery was no hassle and I had the wine at my door in 2 days. Couldn't have asked for a better experience.
Luke B.
Good range of interesting wines. Good personal attention to their orders. Very customer focused. I would be happy to recommend this company to any prospective customer.
Jim D.
A great experience ordering from The Allotment Wine Company. A wide variety of wines to try something new and at good prices with super quick delivery! Really convenient too as opposed to trying to find parking!
N. Dowling
Delicious and interesting range of wines delivered promptly to my door. Not far off that lovely feeling of coming back laden from a good wine store but without any of the traffic or the worry of breaking the wine en route (very impressive travel wrap).
M. Dorman
Chris fields a fine range of excellent, keenly-priced wines. Orders are safely packaged and dispatched efficiently and promptly. Strongly recommended.
David M.
Great selection of wines, hassle free ordering, payment and delivery. Highly recommended.
Patrick H.
Hi, I'm Chris Gifford.

And you're very welcome to The Allotment Wine Co.

When you wine from me, you're supporting a small Irish business which in turn supports small, sustainable wine producers, as well as other small, dedicated Irish wine importers.

When selecting wines, I look for partners who share a deep respect and connection with the land and its traditions, witnessed in a firm commitment to quality and sustainability. All of which makes for better wines.