22 June, 2009

Pinot Noir #4 - Lucienne of Santa Lucia Highlands

Lucienne 2006 Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands Doctor's Vineyard 14.5% alc.

(We continue to explore the world of Pinot Noirs in honor of Pinot Days, SF, 2009. See Pinots 1-3 below.)

Okay, I am still in California, but I've moved south from the Russian River Valley to the Santa Lucia Highlands. Great move! The Pinot Noirs here are quite a change.

The Santa Lucia Highlands are located south of Monterey in the foothills of the Salinas River Valley. It has one of the longest growing seasons in all of the California AVAs due to unique climatic features of the area. Simply put, that means the grapes stay longer on the vine and develop more flavors and acidity before being harvested. This has become one of the outstanding CA. growing regions for Pinot Noir.

A voluptuous Pinot Noir sounds like an oxymoron but that is how I would describe this luscious Pinot. It does not look like a Pinot. It is a dark ruby color. When you sniff it you get red fruits, especially dark cherry, but there are richer aromas like burnt marshmallow, caramel, ginger bread, oak and baking spices. This Pinot is almost full-bodied and has notes of sandalwood and cocoa on the long finish. This Pinot is defintely ageable as it has generous amount of acidity. I would love to taste this in about 5 years as it softens. Retail price: $35 on the Hahn website.

For more information go to http://www.hahnfamilywines.com

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