Now, the $20 Pinot Noir is one of the last of a dying breed. You really need to know where to look, because chances are the quality won’t be there even if the price tag is. Today’s wine manages to have both – but it’s an anomaly.
If you somehow make a really good $20 Pinot, it just means you locked into something a long time ago. Back in the early 1980’s when the Hahn Family started planting in Monterey County, they were called crazy. Sound familiar? All the pioneers in this industry are.
But the family identified what has now become the ‘Arroyo Seco’ appellation as the perfect place to grow Pinot Noir. Sure, it has warm sunny days with the relentless summer sun. But with help from the Monterey Bay and winds from the Salinas Valley, Monterey gets pretty chilly at night, making it the ideal climate to grow Pinot Noir with nice acidity and depth of flavor.
Just south of the Santa Lucia Highlands, their Ste. Philippe Vineyard from which this Pinot Noir was created sits in an ancient dry riverbed that’s full of well-drained sandy-loam. The ground is scattered with river stones known as ‘Greenfield Potatoes’ (named for the adjacent town of Greenfield, CA), a pivotal part of the terroir that helps store and release heat in the vineyard.
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90 Points (Editors’ Choice), Wine Enthusiast
“This bottling packs all the familiar hallmarks of the variety into a likable package. Aromas of muddled plum, dark cherry, cola and toasty oak slide into a ripe, fruit-driven palate of black cherry and nutmeg, with a grip that lasts into the finish.”