A wine for all seasons — that’s what the Hahn Family Wines 2016 Pinot Noir is. Though quite hearty in both flavors and textures, there’s a certain versatility that spans from summer’s BBQs and backyard parties to winter’s slow-roasted suppers next to the fire. And that’s what I expect from Hahn Family Wines’ ‘Hahn’ line of wines — an easily accessible Pinot Noir I can either drink now or save for later and not worry about seasonality when it comes to my food pairing.
About the Wine: The Hahn Family Wines 2016 Pinot Noir is made from 100% Pinot Noir grapes harvested from Hahn estate vineyards located in both the Santa Lucia Highlands and the Arroyo Secco AVAs in Monterey County. The wine was aged in French oak barrels (40% new; 60% neutral) for 8 months.
Flavor Profile: Open the bottle and breathe in the darkness — blackberries, boysenberries stepped and stomped into the damp, gritty earth. On the pour, the Hahn Family Wines 2016 Pinot Noir is a rusty, rocky shade of purple, settling into the glass with more of a garnet color, but a dull one, as if the gem has lost its sheen.
Initial aromas are quite cologne-like, with underlying fruit scents of currants and boysenberries as well as a kind of beachy minerality. Swirl, and release more fun scents of cinnamon, dried rose petals, and crunchy fall leaves.
The palate of the Hahn Family Wines 2016 Pinot Noir is light-to-medium in body with a low-to-medium level of tannins and a solid medium level of acidity that rides through the center of the tongue and warms the heart. Dominant flavors are quite reminiscent of the holidays: think cloves, cranberries, black cherries, fresh eucalyptus leaves, and newly chopped wood. Tannins come in a little stronger toward the finish, making the drinking experience quite a hearty one. The after-breath is filled with a potpourri of dried berries, solidifying the feeling of warmth, comfort, hearth and home.
Food Pairing: I paired the Hahn Family Wines 2016 Pinot Noir with my favorite mushroom and olive pizza, seasoned with fresh rosemary, and served alongside a simple tomato and spinach salad. What I loved was how the sweetness of the tomatoes highlighted more fruit elements in the wine, further muting the tannins. Meanwhile, the fresh rosemary brought forward a bit of smoked-wood earthiness that previously had been hiding in the background. And the mushrooms — perhaps because of their innate earthiness and their meat-like quality — brought an almost soy-like umami to the palate I hadn’t recognized before.
Perfect pairing? While certainly enjoyable (who doesn’t like wine and pizza?), I’d argue that this Monterey County Pinot Noir is substantial enough to stand up to a more complex meal with varying levels of flavor. I’d love to try it alongside a grilled pork chop topped with a black cherry compote, or even a filet mignon with some melted truffled-gouda on top.
More Info: Click to learn more about Hahn Family Wines and the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA.
I received the Hahn Family Wines 2016 Pinot Noir as a sample for review. (Cheers Megan!) Retail: $15. For more information about Hahn, their wines, and to purchase wines directly, please visit the Hahn Family Wines website.
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