“Even though Paul Clifton has been making the wines at Hahn since 2003, he still doesn’t receive his due when wine lovers are talking about the surest hands in California, especially with Pinot Noir.” -Vinous
Nicky and Gaby Hahn first came to California’s Monterey County in the mid 1970s. The Swiss-born couple with
a passion for wine quickly recognized that this mountainous region had every element vital to growing premium wine grapes: alluvial soils that provide excellent drainage, plenty of sunshine to develop rich, ripe fruit, and enough fog and wind to keep grape acids in perfect harmony.
From the start, Nicky realized the area’s potential as a world-class wine growing region and committed himself to producing distinctive wines worthy of competition on a global scale. The family started investing in the land, building the winery, and planting grapes in their first two of six estate vineyards: Smith and Hook.
In 1980, the grapes grown on the hillside vineyards surrounding the winery became the Hahn’s first vintage of commercially available wine. Later in the 1980s, Nicky furthered his commitment to quality by driving efforts to
establish the Santa Lucia Highlands as its own AVA.
The family’s 2019 SLH Pinot Noir is fantastic. All three big wine publications agreed, giving this at least 90 points, with Wine Enthusiast giving it an Editors’ Choice designate and Vinous giving it a loud 91-point review. This is easily one of the better values in California Pinot Noir…especially at this special price.
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91 Points, Vinous
Vivid ruby-red. Lively raspberry and baking spice aromas are completemented by suggestions of tea, rose and vanilla. Spicy and energetic in the mouth, presenting juicy red fruit and spicecake flavors that spread out slowly through the midpalate. Shows appealing sweetness on the long, floral-tinged finish, which is framed by smooth, well-judged tannins.
90 Points (Editors’ Choice), Wine Enthusiast
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.
90 Points, Wine Spectator
Concentrated dark fruit and berry flavors are backed by medium-grained tannins and fresh acidity, with loamy and minerally accents on the ripe finish. Drink now through 2024
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