I am currently sitting at breakfast in Biarritz in the Southwest corner of France, getting ready for a glorious ride down the coast and into Spain. I have been trying to keep up a regular posting schedule here on the Drunken Cyclist, but I have to admit it has been a bit difficult.
I have countless posts in the queue, but precious little time to write them and get them up here on the site while over here in Europe.
This is a prime example. The kind people at the Benson Marketing Group sent me a few samples from Hahn Family Wines a couple months ago, but I am only posting it now. I have been living on the “better late than never” mantra for some time, as you can see.
The first two wines come from the Santa Lucia Highlands (SLH) a region that is becoming increasingly known for high quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Chilly sea breezes from the Monterey Bay funnel through the Salinas Valley, creating a cool climate ideal for growing grapes. Hahn considers these wines their estate wines, coming from fruit from their several vineyards across the appellation.
2012 Hahn SLH Chardonnay: Retail $25. Lemon nose with a bit of oak and vanilla on the palate. The acidity balances out the fruit and richness. A bit of a traditional California chard, but I like it. Maybe even a lot. Very Good to Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
2012 Hahn SLH Pinot Noir: Retail $35. Great nose of tart cherries and a bit of vanilla. On the palate, fruit up front, but fades a bit mid-palate. Ample acidity to hold it all together, but a bit of a disappointing finish. Very Good. 86-88 Points.
The next wine also comes from the Santa Lucia Highlands but carries the broader Central Coast appellation. Back in the late 1970s, the Hahns purchased a cattle (Hook) and horse (Smith) ranch and planted them to various grape varieties and produced their first Cabernet Sauvignon back in 1980.
2012 Smith and Hook Cabernet Sauvingnon Central Coast: Retail $25. 93% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Petite Sirah. Black cherry nose—big fruit. On the palate good fruit, but a bit reserved. Better than the nose would indicate. I actually like this quite a bit and would benefit from a decanting. Very Good to Outstanding. 89-91 Points.
This next wine might need some more investigation. First, the fruit comes from Lodi, which I recently visited for the first time a few weeks ago and I hope to go back soon. Second, the name of the wine has bicycles at its root–the term “Boneshaker” was applied to some of the earliest bicycles, which were made of wrought iron and had wooden wheels and iron
tires–in other words, not very light.
The wine certainly lives up to its name.
2012 Boneshaker Zinfandel Lodi: Retail $25. 88% Zinfandel, 12% Cabernet Sauvignon. Black currant, blackberry and a bit of cherry. Big, huge fruit on the palate. Rich Zin feel. Not really my style of Zin, but well made. Very Good. 87-89 Points.