2012 Hahn Estates Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

SKU #1159839 91 points Wine Enthusiast

 The nose is reserved at first, but then offers a mushroomy earthiness alongside fresh raspberry, chopped black sage and olive tapenade. There is a solid blend of tannins, fruit and acid on the palate, like black tea and espresso with berry syrup.  (10/2014)

Allen Meadows - Burghound

 A pretty, spicy and attractively complex nose features notes of plum, dark cherry and soft floral nuances. There is good volume and reasonably good verve to the delicious and velvety middle weight flavor that possess a seductive mouth feel before terminating in a supple, round and generously proportioned finish that doesn't quite have the depth displayed by the nose. Still, this nicely balanced effort is not without a certain appeal and moreover is a wine that is already drinking well.  (1/2015)

Connoisseurs Guide

 **One Star** Unlikely to be mistaken for one of its lean and acidy, cold-climate cousins and a Pinot that exhibits a fair bit of heft and ripeness instead, the latest Hahn SLH is a rich and weighty wine that is less about brightness than it is about substance and mass. It is firmed by evident tannins but steers clear of the toughness that demands lengthy aging, and it should show its best in but two or three years.  (10/2014)

K&L Notes

A long and ideal growing season in 2012 produced intense Pinot Noir fruit, and Hahn Estates has delivered an amazing value in this Santa Lucia Highlands bottling. Hand-harvested fruit was carefully selected and given a cold soak for gentle extraction before vinification. The wine was aged in 35% new French oak for 11 months before winemaker Paul Clifton selected the barrels that best represtented the Santa Lucia Highlands terroir. From the winery: "This Pinot Noir offers soft tannins, delicious plum and cherry aromas and flavors, a hint of allspice and an underpinning of the earth itself. Without a doubt, its defining feature is its irresistibly silky, velvety texture."

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Price: $19.99
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Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Monterey/Carmel Valley

- These heavily planted regions on either side of the vast Salinas Valley account for much of the mass-produced, commercial wine sold in supermarkets nationwide. In the hills, however, and in sub-AVAs like Chalone and Santa Lucia Highlands, quality is much higher. Pinot noir and chardonnay look to be particularly promising.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.5