Hahn Estates Wine Country Tapas in London

Nov 15, 12 Hahn Estates Wine Country Tapas in London

Posted by in California, Food and Wine, restaurants

Although I’m from California, I’m really not all that familiar with the wines of California. Of course, I know your Mondavis and Fetzers but as so many of California’s wines don’t ever make it to the UK’s shores, I am a bit in the dark as to what they are doing over there. So, I was quite pleased to be invited along to Automat American Brasserie in Mayfair for what was billed as a “Wine Country Tapas” tasting with Hahn Estates wines. Wine Country Tapas? Well, why not. I’m a bit tired of Spanish tapas anyway. Turns out the idea behind the tapas is to showcase the local, fresh and sustainable produce of the region and pair it with Hahn Estates wines. They have an Estate Chef, Brian Overhauser, who has created dishes specifically for this culinary program. As we were in London, we got a taster of California cuisine, including seared scallops, wild mushroom risotto and, one of the most interesting dishes – smoked egg yolk and autumn vegetable salad. The winery sells these wine country tapas on site, along with a glass of wine, so that guests can see how food and wine matching works for themselves. But what about the wines? Hahn Estates is located in the Santa Lucia Mountains on the Central Coast of California. If you’re familiar with CA, it’s close to Monterey. One of the main draws for Hahn Estates was the fact that the Santa Lucia range is very much affected by the “Blue Grand Canyon” – a very deep canyon (more than 2 miles deep) just off the coast, the cold water creating a cold wind that is funneled into the appellation. This wind has a huge affect on the grapes, helping to extend the hang time and development of the grapes. The soil of the Santa Lucia Mtn range also had very good drainage which gives added depth and complexity to the pinot noir, especially, that is grown there. Bill Leigon, President of the company, and...

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Mexican Wine – Estapor Venir Mezcla Tinto ’07

Yes, that’s right, the heading says Mexican wines and that’s exactly what I had the other day. Now, don’t go pulling funny faces, there is such a thing and it’s not bad. People used to snicker about English wine but whose laughing now that English sparkling wines have shown that they can compete with the best sparkling wines that France or any other country has to offer and have won numerous awards to prove it. Estapor Venir is a joint venture between Bibendum and Hugo D’Acosta, a Mexican winemaker who makes wine for Casa de Piedra, a well known and  respected Mexican winery where his wines are sold for $70 per bottle en primeur in Mexico and California. The idea behind Estapor Venir is to create sustainable viticulture in the Guadalupe Valley in Baja California. The valley is situated at altitude and benefits from the cool Pacific breezes that run through it. I love the fact that they use as many natural resources as possible, and both the main winery and the winery they built in the local village are constructed from local wood and adobe.  The village winery was built so that the villagers could learn wine making, giving them a means to support themselves independently.  Because many of the villagers are illiterate, they leave handprints on each of their barrels as a way of identifying the wine they have made. All that is great – social responsibility, sustainable viticulture – but what about the wine? I had the chance to try their first offering, the Estapor Venir Mezcla Tinto 2007 at the Bibendum‘s wine show the other day and I  have to say I was quite impressed. My first reaction was not to spit it out, although since I was at a tasting, that’s what I did, but only after carefully thinking about what was in my mouth. The Mezcla is, appropriately enough, a blend (since that’s the translation of the word into English) of petit syrah, cabernet sauvignon, barbera and zinfandel. ...

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