Buzz Words / Slider / September 1, 2020

Wino Words: HANNA Elias Pinot Noir

Today we mark the start of Wino Words, a monthly-ish review of some of the best wines out there, starring wine connoisseur Jess Smith. Cheers!  

I’m definitely not the first person to store a crisp Sauvignon Blanc in the bladder of my hiking pack, or invest in screw-top ski-poles so as to fill with a heartwarming slug of Bordeaux.

So, it only makes sense Trek Tech Blog’s ​alcohol-soaked adventures also include classy way to quaff. I will do my best to bring deserved attention to wines from far and wide, terroir or label-driven, tannic or insipid. No Stelvin cap will be left unscrewed, no wine bottle left uncorked. Welcome, to the wonderful world of Wino Words. And, it really is a wonderful world when your boss gets on the same level, actually offering​ to crack one of his Wine Club bottles ​during work hours. The quarterly shipment of HANNA Wines arrives right on time. I tear open the hand-delivered box of wine like a toddler on Christmas morning, and three pristine bottles of HANNA wines stare up at me like puppies.

A relatively youthful winery by Californian standards, HANNA was founded in 1985 by Dr. Elias Hanna, a world-renowned cardiac surgeon. Over 600 acres of land and vineyards in Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and the Mayacamas Mountains is what now makes up the exquisite winery and, having run the winery for 20 years, Hanna’s eldest daughter Christine ensures the true embodiment of the Sonoma Valley is in every bottle.

Today’s particular choice, a 2013 Russian River Valley Elias Pinot Noir is a hefty +14.5% abv and retails for $54.00 (less if you’re part of the wine club obviously). This is usually more than I would spend on a bottle of vino for Tuesday night consumption, but heck, it’s not on my tab today. Immediately on opening, the aroma emitted was of cherries and a a hint of white pepper. The bright cherry red color swirled swiftly around the glass, barely hanging on, announcing itself as a light to medium bodied drop. On first sip, a plum hits me smack bang in the mouth, followed by a right hook from some dark berries, uppercut from black cherries, a wad of earthy tannins and a richer mouthfeel than expected. Reeling from a final light lady-slap from charcoal and rose garden, this was like ingesting a Tim Burton movie.

Fellow taster and self-proclaimed wine-wizard, Gordon C. Wright calls the Elias Pinot Noir “a pinot for those who don’t like pinot,” describing myself to a tee. A delicious and surprisingly tannic and rich wine, this could do with an hour of decanting, or a few years in the bottle, but still drinks pretty well right now. If we weren’t a ’boutique’ workplace, drinking said wine out of beer mugs and red solo cups, I’d recommend pairing with roast pork and berry coulis, or lamb with a wine reduction, but who can afford that fancy pants food?



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