2014 Hahn Central Coast GSM USA
65% Grenache, 31% Syrah, 4% Mourvèdre
Since 1980 the Hahn family have cultivated their hillside vineyards in Monterey County of Central California. They are now onto their second generation and in a state and country where Chardonnay and Cabernet are King, it is the “Rhone Blends” of this winery that really shine. This a typical GSM blend, but there is a richness and juiciness to this wine that you don’t get in other areas. The wine is quite high in alcohol at 14.5%, but it is in balance with the fruit and will make this a real crowd pleaser.
The Grenache comes from their vineyards in Arroyo Seco, one of the smallest regions in the state, but boasting one of the longest growing seasons. In this region, warm and sunny days are followed by cool afternoons with the wind blowing in from the coast. This daily cooling effect allows for longer hang times and creates very ripe fruit, something Grenache really needs.
The defining feature of Arroyo Seco, which in Spanish means ‘dry riverbed’, are the large river stones which are scattered around the area, absorbing heat during the day and then radiating that heat in the evenings to prevent the vines from freezing during frigid nights. This is very similar to the “Pudding Stones” in Chateauneuf-du-pape.
The Shiraz is sourced from their cooler, higher elevated vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands of Monterey. The cooler conditions are perfect for Shiraz, lending colour, tannins and hints of blueberry and black pepper to the wine. The small amount of Mourvèdre contributes richness to the mid-palate and lengthens the finish.
Designed to be a crowd pleaser, it is a rich sensuous wine of great depth. There is some fruit sweetness on the palate, but this is balanced by lively acidity and smooth soft tannins. Very pretty floral notes of violets and red cherries are evident on the aroma, but it is on the palate where this wine really shines, with hints of blackberries, coffee, and a hint of minerality.