Hahn Estates Red Quartet

Alright, first my favorite topic in the whole world (when it’s not causing me to bang my head on my desk), compliance. Hahn definitely looks to play by the rules so currently that means DC and Arizona are no go for us. DC has a legal limit of one bottle per month (http://wi.shipcompliant.com/StateDetail.aspx?StateID=41) and we produce just a bit above 20,000 gallons so we are not able to get our hands on an AZ permit (http://wi.shipcompliant.com/StateDetail.aspx?StateID=31). As proven by some of the last Woot offerings, there are ways to ship wine into the states, but the compliance is cumbersome for the alternate routes and we haven’t gotten them in place yet. For Vermont the permit is one of the most expensive in the Union and we had not had enough direct business opportunities to justify the couple of grand it would cost us.

So that’s that. Sorry about the long paragraph but hopefully it’s somewhat fun to learn something about one of the most heavily regulated industries around (do I sound frustrated by dealing with it on a daily basis… nah).

I would have loved to include the Cab Franc but it’s pretty heavily allocated right now so the only ways to acquire it are finding it in your local store or being a club member and purchasing from the tasting room/website. Couldn’t kick loose enough to satisfy everyone.

Since Red Flyer is a Rhone style red table wine we went with the Rhone style name for added authenticity, or we thought it sounded better, or Adam likes to confuse everyone around him. Red Flyer is really a great wine for hot days on a porch when you are looking for something clean and bright to sip into the evening (personal experience). You’ll likely hear me say several times that Hahn’s goal is to over deliver the wine in the price point. We want to make wines people will drink and feel good about, not try once and think “that so wasn’t worth the price”.

Alright, what have I done here? This morning’s entertainment will include the guy who can’t remember how to correctly code html. Little help

It’s not directly html, here’s a guide

The last time I checked a few months ago, of the states that require a permit, Vermont looked to be among the CHEAPEST states for permitting ($300/year for permit + ~$2000 of ‘reporting’). Are we just too small (State Pop is only about 630,000) with too few winos to make the effort worthwhile?

With the exception of the Francis Ford Coppola offerings, every other offering I can recall has had Vermont on the Ship-To list. I’m just curious what leads the bigger wineries (for wine.woot, FFC & Hahn are ‘big’ when compared to the typical offerings) to drop some states that the smaller wineries routinely include. Is it due to increased permitting costs due to increased production, is there something about WineCountryConnect’s middle-man role that makes it more attractive for smaller wineries to ship to smaller markets, or is there something more obvious that I don’t see.

I think at this point we’re all used to the “Tediously Long” crap-shoot for MA, IN, NJ, AZ, etc. where it’s a big PITA to deal with the states’ compliance rules, but it’s always a curve ball (maybe more like a wild pitch?) when the ‘regulars’ get axed from the list.

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If you are intersted in the Hahn Cab Franc you might wangt to try the hahn web site at www.hahnestates.com. If they have some in inventory you may be able to order it from them depending upon the state you are ordering from.

I also think that this is one of the lowest price Meritages that I’ve ever seen. From what I know about the Meritage association and the trademark, it’s supposed to be the winery’s “top” wine, and I’m intrigued at both the price point and that it’s a Merlot-based Meritage instead of CabSauv like the majority.

Also, what’s the difference between the Grand Reserve and a Regular reserve? Is there even a regular reserve?

How long can each wine age?

Many people have develped a little justified shyness on pinot noirs in part do to the fact that some are Gamay’s mascarading as PN, or PN’s that have been blended and PN is not a wine to be blended. The Hahn PN is 100% Pinot Noir.
The Red Flyer is an unpretentious well made wine that for all intents and purposes could be called Syrah. Great with good BQ.

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And now I have a new best friend, thank you much. That was 30 minutes of my life wasted trying to correct it.

I’m not going to be in the office until tomorrow so I don’t have my shipping book with me, but I remember Vermont in addition to the reasonable $300 license fee has a $100 per label fee (good for two years if I remember correctly). So if we do the Hahn varietal, Red Flyer, S&H, and the other brands produced at Hahn it adds up pretty quickly.

To answer your question about not caring about the states with 630,000 people in them it was a question of cost vs. gain. In the last 6 months we have been cleaning up our licenses and making sure the house is in order. Much like retailers will only pull in product know they can sell or have been asked about, we had not had much direct sales interest from the Green Mountain State and therefore did not include it in our first couple batches of registrations. As I was working through the woot deal I noticed we were one of the only ones to not have Vermont as a listed. I apologize for the lack and the permits are now into the state as of Friday. We only await the kind and compassionate state lawmakers approval to begin shipping. It was simply too late for this offer.

Now on to some more about the wines. I talked a little bit about the Red Flyer, but if you would like more data on the wine, with all the awards and reviews, you can check out the website for Hahn’s Sales and Marketing company Wimbledon Wine Co. You can click on the brand and either look at the “Wine Info” or choose the “Trade Tools/Electronic Press Kit/Stat Sheets”. There is also a link in the top nav bar to searchable awards by competition, reviewer, etc. The Wimbledon site is normally used by 3-tier trade people, but has some good stuff.

Last website I’ll direct you to. Hahn Estates is located in the Santa Lucia Highlands AVA (American Viticultural Area). The Highlands has an association has a website all about the area Here. The reason I would point you to the AVA website is to talk a little bit about the Pinot Noir. The SLH is much the like the Rhone region in France in terms of climate and growing season. We are located up the side of the moutain range so have cooler temperatures and more fog then down in the valley. This is great for Pinot Noir, Syrah, Mourvedre, etc. Adam will be able to get more into the specifics of why. Hahn believes in their Pinot Noir enough to have ripped up a couple hundred acres of Merlot and replaced it with Pinot, you won’t believe me, but it wasn’t due to Sideways :slight_smile:

Hahn is always committed to making (this is my favorite tag line) “Wines of Monterey Distinction”.

My appologies to all. I should have first introduced myself. Bad Bad.
I am proud to say that I do work for Hahn Estates and my expressed purpose here is to answer any questions that I can that will, I hope be of some help to you so please fire away. I sincerely appreciate your interest in the Hahn wines.

I work pt. time in a NY wine shop (upstate not NYC) , first I can vouch for the '05 meritage … we sell it for 15.00 a btl. and it is very good … I looked up the lowest wholesale price of the lot (there are discounts for multi-case deals for some of them) and the rock bottom wholesale (not retail and w\o sales tax) for the entire offering is 46.02… now add to that the industry standard markup of 50% and the wine would sell here for 69.03 + tax highere if the shop buys only a case or less of each variety… ymmv but this is a good deal imo

In answer to your question(s), every winery considers a number of factors as it relates to what they wish to produce and sell it for. Hahn has always prided itself on having the ability to produce good wine and good value…both. Our Meritage is premium priced relative to the rest of the Hahn wines, and it has value as was intended. As for the choice of making it a Merlot based meritage that was our wine maker’s decision based upon the style of wine he wished to create.
On the Smith & Hook label we use the term “Grand Reserve” in part because the Smith Vineyard, and Hook Vineyard were the first two properties to be planted to vines by the Hahn family and in turn have proved out to be wonderful sources of exceptional fruit. These properties have a special meaning for us and as such we take particular pride in the quality of this wine.
As for aging my personal experiences going back to the late 90’s have given me good results. That said I have cellared older vintages for this reason to see for myself how they develop.

I didn’t get to buy last week because Nebraska wasn’t on the ship list. I could be an easy sell this week. Just need a little convincing from the winemaker.

Rooster, thanks for the reply. I can’t imagine how much of a major pain it is to maintain compliance with fifty different shipping and reporting regulations and to somehow manage to stay current on all the meandering legislation that’s constantly changing them.

I hope my query didn’t come off as too ‘snooty.’ To your credit, I asked the same question of the FFC folks and didn’t really get a solid answer. For what it’s worth, “Vermont is too small of a market to bother,” would be an acceptable response. For a state that in the bottom 10 of per capita wine consumption mixed with an overall population the size of a decent sized CITY, I can see where the ROI would be minimal. Frankly, I’m still somewhat surprised that ANYONE ships to us! :slight_smile:

Not a problem, I’m glad to talk shop and there is almost always a reason behind the madness. We are sold in Vermont retail stores, so you will hopefully run across our wines in your local shop.

I’m going to be away for a few hours. I’ll be back on around 5 PST. Adam has promised to either join us tonight or answer questions via the phone if he’s not near a computer.

Everyone have a great holiday today and we’ll get in into it this week and discover all there is to know about Hahn Estates.

Hello all…once upon a time I used to own and operate a nice wine shop. As a buyer I would always be looking for value priced wines that demonstrated potential. The potential that I was looking for was a wine that satisfied and could evolve.
The price of a wine may not always reveal its potential but when you discover one that does …bells and whistles!!! You just found yourself a great value.
It’s all about the fun of finding them and sharing the discovery.

Don’t have a long history to pull from. I’ve been making wine here for 6 1/2 years. My first wines are still tasting good and some of the old mid-80’s SMith & Hooks I’ve had from our library are showing like excellent aged clarets…

Oops. I’ll get the hang of this thing yet… Last post inside quote area…Too many moving parts…

Ratings data –

WS rates the 2003 Red Flyer an 80 and says the following,

“Generous oak frames cola and cherry flavors. Syrah, Durif, Mourvèdre, Carignane and Grenache. Drink now. 15,000 cases made.”

For those (like me) who don’t always remember how their scale works, here’s the breakdown:

100-Point Scale
95–100 Classic
90–94 Outstanding
85–89 Very Good
80–84 Good
75–79 Mediocre
50–74 Not Recommended

It appears WS hasn’t rated one of the Smith & Hook wines since 1996. For my part, the 15.2% alcohol content feels like a potential flag, but that’s not always a reliable indicator (except to say that there does appear a propensity among vintners here to bundle some of their slop with the good stuff when they come to woot so I guess we must proceed accordingly.)

I have a bottle of the 2004 Meritage in my cellar which I recall had a sign at the store shelf indicating a high rating by some one of the critics/services. I have no data on the 2005 except that the Hahn Estates website touts an award won at a Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo (hmmm).

Lastly, K&L Wines (klwines.com) lists the Pinot at $15.99 and describes it as follows (which may be text provided by the vintner as they sometimes copy from there):

“Pure Pinot fruit with ripe black cherry cola and spice on the nose. Luscious flavors of plum and cherry open into concentrated notes of wild berries and vanilla that wrap the tongue in velvet. Tannins are plentiful but are soft and integrated. A balanced core of acidity keeps the wine suspended well into the finish. This is a substantial wine that can stand up to a number of rich foods.”

Not enough substance to grab me this week but good luck to all. -J

As for choosing Merlot, I am probably one of the only winemakers you will ever hear say that good Merlot, from a great region, made correctly, is one of my favorite wines in the world…Pomerols, Vignalta, Thelema Mountain, etc…

We have a vineyard called Deer Valley that provides the Merlot for the base of the blend. The grapes used to go into a Smith & Hook Merlot in the old days before we cancelled that wine about the time I got to the winery. Made sense for me to use it in the Meritage. This stuff is about as tough and tannic as you can get with the varietal. I actually use the Cab for softening the wine… Good stuff.