2014 Hahn Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

SKU #1255994 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A smokin' effort, as well as a terrific value, the 2014 Pinot Noir Hahn SLH (mostly from the Smith Vineyard) offers classic notes of forest floor, toasted spice, licorice and tons of Pinot Noir fruit in its medium-bodied, textured and layered profile. At 30 bucks, I'm hard pressed to come up with a better value in Pinot Noir. Drink this pleasure bent beauty over the coming 4-5 years. An estate that has hit another level of quality over the past few vintages, Hahn Family Wines focuses on estate vineyards in both the Santa Lucia Highlands and the Arroyo Seco Valley. The wines are made by Paul Clifton, everything is destemmed and aging occurs all in French oak. The big change recently is the moving of their limited-production, single vineyard releases to their Lucienne label. These are all made in tiny, 80- to 600-case quantities and are beautiful wines. In addition, their entry level wines and the new SLH releases (which are a blend of the single vineyards) are absolutely worth checking out.  (9/2016)

92 points Wine Spectator

 The texture is plush, with lots of complex flavors, ranging from plum to anise to dusty, cedary oak. Satisfying from start to finish, ending with dusty, nutmeg-scented tannins. (JL)  (6/2016)

91 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Editors' Choice* This is a lot of heady wine for a relatively affordable price. Aromas of black-cherry syrup, baked black plum, nutmeg, clove and gingerbread make for an attention-grabbing nose. The hearty palate shows similar elements, along with black peppercorn, Christmas spice, dense blackberry paste, chaparral scrub and pine-forest notes.  (10/2016)

90 points Decanter

 Complex dark fruit aromas with toasted oak and mineral notes and nuances of tobacco. Zesty, intense palate of raspberry coulis, a touch of oak, soft tannins, and acidity that is refreshingly clean and long.  (7/2016)

90 points Vinous

 Dark red. Lively red berry and cherry pit aromas are complemented by suggestions of candied rose and anise. Juicy and sharply focused, offering bitter cherry and licorice pastille flavors and a refreshing touch of blood orange. Shows very good energy and spicy on the clinging finish, which is given shape by smooth tannins.  (10/2016)

K&L Notes

$20 Pinot Noir is a competitive category, but not always tops with the critics: if the wines are praised, more often than not it's in the "great for weeknight pizza" category. But venerable Central Coast producer Hahn is doing a stand-up job with their Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir.

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Price: $19.99
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By: Bryan Brick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/12/2016 | Send Email
$20 Pinot Noirs are rare these days with the grapes themselves, and the materials to make them “right,” costing too much to have a twomp pencil out in the ledgers and still be able to keep the lights on. However you still see them everywhere, mass produced and not tasting so much like the varietal on the label, we are always apprehensive about the quality before we taste them. So on the rare occasion that we find one that is not only affordable but also varietally and regionally correct and critically acclaimed the only thing we can do is back up the trucks and shout from the heavens, or at least our e-mail platform, “BUY THIS, BUY THIS NOW!”
The Hahn label is not unfamiliar to K&L; the 2012 vintage did extremely well in our wine club and had people coming back for more. The 2013 was one of the top selling Pinot Noirs of the year, and a wild customer favorite, for us last year. The 2014 may be the best of this tremendous run from this producer with just as much deep set, black and blue fruits and warm spice but with a new added lift and Bing cherry brightness that we haven’t seen in the previous vintages. This new resonance and pitch to the wine adds another layer of complexity and packs even more into this bottle that already wildly over delivers.

By: Dave Genevro | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/15/2016 | Send Email
This might just be my favorite vintage of Hahn's SLH Pinot Noir bottling that I have had to date. The energy, focus, varietal character, and life is energetic and are in line with each other. The ripe red berries and baking spices on the nose just jumped out at me. The palate is medium bodied, fresh, generous, with spiced backbone. A do not miss for CA Pinot drinkers out there, plain and simple.
Top Value!

By: Andrew Stevens | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/10/2016 | Send Email
Last year this was one of our highest selling Pinot Noir, and it is good to see it back this year, and, in my opinion, better than ever. The 2014 Hahn is surprisingly complex for a $20 Pinot Noir and is drinking well right now. More earth on both the nose and finish in this vintage help frame a softly fruited Pinot. This year has a little bigger body than last year but still has excellent acid to lift and carry this wine. Get several of these while we have them.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

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.
Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

California

- 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:

Santa Lucia Highlands

Alcohol Content (%): 14.5