Chardonnay and the fall go wonderfully together. The wine pairs beautifully with fall flavors, such as roast chicken, turkey, roasted squash and the like. This week we sampled a bottle of Paul Hobbs Crossbarn Chardonnay from Sonoma County.
California Chardonnay gets a bad rap, thanks to the aggressive over-oaking that was committed in the ’80s and ’90s, but many winemakers in California make restrained, beautiful Chardonnays that are much more in line with the styles in Burgundy, and this wine is a perfect example.
In the glass, the wine pours the color of straw and gives off aromas of apples and citrus. It’s full and round on the palate, but not overly weighty. This roundness comes from the wine going through malolactic fermentation, which gives it a beautiful smoothness.
The one knock against the wine is that it is incredibly high in alcohol at 14.1%, a sharp departure from its French counterparts who have levels more in the 12% range. This means the wine isn’t a stellar choice for more than a glass or two, unless you want to end up on the floor.
That being said, this Chardonnay is a great example of California Chardonnay done well, at a very attractive price of around $20. Just save it for the main course when you’ve already had a bit of food.