Hahn’s annual SLH releases — affordable bottlings celebrating the Santa Lucia Highlands — are here. Let’s taste.
2018 Hahn SLH Chardonnay Santa Lucia Highlands – Lots of lemon peel character gives this wine a lively freshness up front, its oaky vanilla elements taking a back seat to plenty of fruit. Notes of melon and guava add nuance during the encounter, but a somewhat vegetal note gives the finish the curious flavor of carrot cake, complete with a layer of tart cream cheese frosting. That’s a minor snub, though: At this price, it’s quite versatile and lively. A- / $25
2018 Hahn SLH Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands – While it starts off a bit heavy on the earth, this expressive pinot noir quickly evolves to layer its black cherry underbelly with notes of tea leaf, cola, and a touch of gunpowder, before settling into a body that offers notes of licorice and chocolate. There’s a tart rhubarb character on the finish that plays well with the cherry at the core. A- / $30