Wine Last Sold on: October 18, 2007
Hahn Estates and Smith & Hook Winery
2004 Reserve Syrah
|Region:||California: Monterey County: Santa Lucia Highlands|
|Total Allocation:||TOP SECRET|
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The Winery Says:
EXCLUSIVE NEW WINE – This wine is a brand new release and The Wine Spies is the only place to get this wine right now. Considering that this is the best Syrah we have tasted so far this year – you should be sure to pick up a few bottles.
The Nicolaus Hahn Family – Commitment to Monterey
Hahn Estates is owned and operated by the Nicolaus Hahn Family. Nicolaus (“Nicky”) Hahn is a Swiss businessman, adventurer and philanthropist whose venturesome spirit brought him and his family to Monterey in the mid 1970’s. While living in England , the Hahns had discovered a love for California wines. A two-year search guided them to Monterey County with its breathtaking beauty and ideal growing conditions. Nicky quickly realized that this region had as much potential to produce world-class wines as any other in the state. He and his wife Gaby purchased Smith & Hook Winery in 1980, laying the groundwork for their long-term commitment to bring out the full potential of Monterey .
Hahn Estates / Smith & Hook – Ranches to Vineyards
The Smith Ranch had been a horse ranch, while the neighboring Hook Ranch had raised cattle for generations. With their prime location in the Santa Lucia Highlands overlooking the Salinas Valley , these ranches-turned-vineyards presented ideal growing conditions for growing premium varietal fruit. Smith & Hook Winery released its first vintage of Cabernet Sauvignon to high acclaim in 1980.
In 1991, Nicky created the Hahn Estates brand to showcase supple, accessible, and attractively priced wines from the family’s Monterey County vineyards. In German, “Hahn” means “Rooster” and for this reason a rooster embellishes the Hahn Estates label, honoring the Hahn family’s European heritage. And while Smith & Hook remains the first wine produced by the Hahn family, Hahn Estates is the primary wine brand produced by the Hahns and the winery is now proudly known as “Hahn Estates / Smith & Hook Winery.”
Revitalization – New chapter in winemaking
New chapters began for Hahn Estates / Smith & Hook Winery in 2000 when Nicky brought on long-time associate Bill Leigon and embarked on a more than eight-million dollar renovation to the winery and vineyards. The revitalization began with a new management and winemaking team, which included Leigon’s appointment as president in 2001, winemaker Adam LaZarre, and well-known Monterey winemaker Barry Gnekow as consulting oenologist. Many capital improvements were made in the winery and in the vineyards, creating a dramatic transformation to the quality and case production for the four wine brands: Hahn Estates, Smith & Hook, Red Flyer and a new brand to be launched in 2006, Cycles Gladiator. Hahn Estates was also responsible for the successful launch in 2002 of the popular HRM Rex Goliath wine brand, which was sold to Constellation Wines in the fall of 2005.
Wines of Monterey Distinction
The spectacular beauty of California ’s central coast is probably the best-known region in all of California for its unique lifestyle. Monterey County ’s dramatic ocean scenery, historic communities, artistic culture, verdant pine forests, and bountiful agriculture have beckoned adventure-seekers, seafarers, artists, writers and vacationers for over 100 years. And the 99 miles of breathtaking Pacific coastline is something no other California county can boast.
With an inspiration to raise Monterey wines to the highest level, the wines of Hahn Estates are created with a philosophy that all great wines are special – akin to the region they were grown in. The Hahn wines celebrate everything that is Monterey – unique in thought, style and setting. Wines of Monterey Distinction.
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The Wine Spies Say:
TOP SECRET SPECIAL: Free Shipping on orders of six or more bottles. Use the promotion code SPYSHIP during checkout.
Mission Codename: Best. Syrah. Ever?
Operative: Agent Red
Objective: Locate and procure an exceptional Syrah
Mission Status: Accomplished, and then some! Agent Red procured the Best Syrah we have tried all year – and its an exclusive, available only here and at the Hahn tasting room!
Current Winery: Hahn Estate Winery
Wine Subject: 2004 Reserve Syrah
Winemaker: Hahn Estates
Hahn Estates and the Smith and Hook Vineyards of Monterey represent the best of the region with regard to winemaking. Not only do they take great pride in the tradition of their product, they are also innovative, free thinking and adventurous. These wines are all true to their varietals but also have something more—something that is hard to put your finger on, until of course, you taste the wine. These characteristics are what makes all of Hahn’s wines ‘of Monterey Distinction’.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep and dense inky black-red to purple, with long, tightly spaced legs
Smell – Rich and jammy blackberry with aromas of red apple, dark plum, sweet cherry and sour cherry and undertones of hay, wintergreen and subtle barnyard
Feel – Medium weight in the mouth with great viscosity and an all over mouth velvety coating and mild to medium tannins
Taste – Rich, elegant and concentrated flavors of blackberry, blueberry, cassis, ripe dark plum and mild dry tobacco
Finish – Long and lingering with sweet flavors and a fullness that goes on and on…
Conclusion – This is the best Syrah we have tried in 2007! That’s really saying something, because we have been blessed with some amazingly wonderful examples recently. This is a ‘stock up’ wine that you’ll want to keep on hand for all occasions. And, if you really want to impress friend, colleagues and loved ones with your ability to give great wines, consider this wine as a perfect wine-gift. Since we only got a small allocation of this wine, we hope that you are among the fortunate few to get your hands on some!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Hahn Estates and Smith & Hook Vineyards can be seek on this satellite photo satellite photo
Wine Spies Technical Wine Analysis
Sub-Appellation: Santa Lucia Highlands
Harvest Date: October 15, 2004
Months in Barrel: 24 Months; 50% New
Oak: DeMercurey & Allier
Release Date: Pending – The Wine Spies Exclusive
Total Production: Very Limited – 7 Barrels – 170 Cases