Hahn Estates of California is a nice family winery story. In the late 1970s, Nicolaus
and Gaby Hahn established their first few small vineyards in California's cool Monterey
County. By 1988, they had persuaded authorities to create an official wine appellation
status for the lands around them … today called the Santa Lucia Highlands.
Today they own 650 acres there ranging up to 1,200 feet in elevation for cool weather.
Their Hahn Estates wines are made entirely from those acres. They also have created other wine brands with grapes from other areas. Cycles Gladiator Wines come from the Central Coast and elsewhere in California.
They make wines for the times. Their most expensive one is $16.
Trying to come up with a label for their Cycles Gladiator line of wines, the couple
settled on a 1895 bicycle theme, celebrating the golden age of biking and bike racing in
France. At the time, biking was seen as liberating to women, who donned bloomers or even slacks and pedaled off away from home.
They chose a Parisian art poster created by the French artist G. Massias for the label.
It depicts a nymph, nude, soaring on one of the new bicycles, called the Cycles Gladiator.
The label was deemed pornographic and banned by the state of Alabama, although they didn't have trouble elsewhere.
* 2008 Hahn Estates Syrah, Central Coast (syrah, petite sirah): deep purple color,
aromas and flavors of black raspberries, mocha and cloves, ripe tannins; $14.
* 2007 Hahn Estates Meritage, Central Coast (merlot, cabernet sauvignon, petit verdot,
malbec, cabernet franc): big, ripe black cherry and black coffee aromas and flavors, soft
and hearty; $16.
* 2008 Cycles Gladiator Pinot Grigio, Central Coast: white flower aromas, flavors of
ripe apricots and golden apples; $10.
* 2008 Hahn Estates Chardonnay, Monterey: big and ripe, with pineapple and mango aromas and flavors; $12.
* 2007 Hahn Estates Merlot, Monterey: aromas and flavors of black plums and black
pepper, soft tannins; $14.
* 2007 Hahn Estates Cabernet Sauvignon, Central Coast (cabernet sauvignon, merlot):
black raspberry and bittersweet chocolate aromas and flavors, smooth, full-bodied; $14.
* 2008 Cycles Gladiator Pinot Noir, California: tart cherry and cinnamon aromas and
flavors, crisp, soft tannins; $11.
* 2007 Cycles Gladiator Merlot, California: (merlot, cabernet sauvignon): soft and
sweet, black cherry and black pepper aromas and flavors; $10.
* 2008 Cycles Gladiator Syrah, Central Coast: soft and rich, with mulberry and black
coffee aromas and flavors; $10.
* 2007 Cycles Gladiator Cabernet Sauvignon, California (cabernet sauvignon, petite
sirah): aromas and flavors of black raspberries and chocolate, rich and soft; $10.