Much like the “Exuberance” Pinot Noir, Hahn SLH Estate’s entry at the Pinot Noir Summit really impressed me. I go back-and-forth, personally, on whether I prefer a light, bright, somewhat-fruity Pinot, or the more earthy, mushroomy, forest floor Pinot. California makes both styles in abundance (though more of the former, I think) and both have their pluses and minuses.
This Pinot, from the Santa Lucia Highlands' perch overlooking the Salinas River Valley in California’s Central Coast, is definitely more of the bright, fruit-forward Pinot. But it’s still nicely rounded, well-balanced. Nuanced, if you will, like a Pinot ought to be (opinion mine, of course).
In the glass, the wine is a sparkling bright red, ruby or garnet in shade. The nose is bright with the aroma of ripe red raspberry, and while the palate is indeed bright and sweet, with that raspberry note carrying through, it’s rounded out by a decent acidity and a pleasant, if subtle, earthiness. There is something very agricultural about this wine. It feels like a product from the ground, from the fields, and not at all mass-produced.
All in all, a very good Pinot, and at around $30, it won’t break the bank, either.