Hahn Estates and Smith & Hook Winery
2003 Reserve Chardonnay
Chardonnay • Lone Oak Vineyard
California: Monterey County: Santa Lucia Highlands
What we say
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Final Allocation Alert
The Wine Spies, with the assistance of its undercover inside agents Agent Neutron and Agent Orange, have secured the last available allocation of this delicious Chardonnay. Once this wine is sold out, this wine is no longer available. These are the last of this vintage – so be sure to order yours now!
Shipping Update: Wine ordered today WILL arrive in time for XMAS!
Mission Codename: A view to a thrill!
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Seek out the top white wines of Monterey
Mission Status: Ongoing…
Current Winery: Hahn Estates & Smith and Hook Vineyards
Wine Subject: 2006 Hahn Estates Reserve Chardonnay
Winemaker: Adam LaZarre
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 – Full golden in color with almost orange hues that show that this wine has matured well.
Smell – Creamy butter, dried apricots, sweet popcorn and mild to medium oak dominate the bouquet.
Feel – Creamy rich at first then the oak structure glides to the back of the tongue.
Taste – Subtle fruit, oak, buttered popcorn coupled with a medium acidity that adds to its complexity.
Finish – This wine finishes smooth and creamy with an almost nutty quality.
Conclusion – This wine shows what a serious and mature Chardonnay can taste like. Compared to the mostly adolescent Chards that we have become accustomed to, this wine is completely different – it shows solid malolactic character with a fatter and fuller feel and a range of subtle flavors that emerges as you continue to enjoy this wine.
Wine Technical Analysis:
Varietals: 100% Estate Grown Chardonnay
AVA: Santa Lucia Highlands
Vineyard: Lone Oak Vineyard
Harvest: October 8-12, 2003
Cooperage: 18 Months in New French Oak
Availability: The Wine Spies has the last allocation of this fine Chardonnay. Once sold out – this wine is gone forever.
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Hahn Estates and Smith & Hook Vineyards can be seek on this satellite photo satellite photo
What the winery says
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About This Wine:
Our Lone Oak Vineyard, located in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA is where we grow our finest Chardonnay. The few barrels that are represented in this bottle were hand selected from the very best lots of the 2003 harvest, making this a true reserve wine.
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.