Hahn SLH Pinot Noir 2019
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This is a strong showing for a large production Pinot Noir. Mesquite-smoked cherry and light cola aromas on the nose cruise into a spicy palate of root beer and cinnamon that surrounds a cherry compote core. Editors’ Choice
Hahn Estate wines feature grapes sourced from estate vineyards in the Arroyo Seco appellation of Monterey County. A hidden gem, located below the Santa Lucia Highlands, these vineyards sit on a gravelly alluvial plain with rocky soils fostering excellent drainage. Cool winds channeling South from Monterey Bay through the Salinas Valley ensure gradual ripening, full development of vibrant fruit flavors and bright acidity. Arroyo Seco, one of the smallest AVAs in the state, boasts one of the longest growing seasons. In this region, warm and sunny days are followed by cool afternoons once wind blowing in from the Monterey Bay sweeps through the Salinas Valley. This daily cooling effect allows for longer hang times and creates ripe fruit.
Perhaps the most highly regarded appellation within Monterey County, Santa Lucia Highlands AVA benefits from a combination of warm morning sunshine and brisk afternoon breezes, allowing grapes to ripen slowly and fully. The result is concentrated, flavorful wines that retain their natural acidity. Wineries here do not shy away from innovation, and place a high priority on sustainable viticultural practices.
The climatic conditions here are perfectly suited to the production of ripe, rich Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. These Burgundian varieties dominate an overwhelming percentage of plantings, though growers have also found success with Syrah, Riesling and Pinot Gris.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”