Lucienne

Owner(s) Nicolaus Hahn
Web site www.luciennevineyards.com
 
Link to this site
Lucienne

Winemaker Paul Clifton came to wine from a firefighting career. He grew up in the Monterey Bay area and always felt the lure of the outdoors and agriculture. After college he considered a white collar job in the financial world but felt he was more suited to fight fires. After working as a firefighter for a few years, he decided to change careers and in 1996 began his pursuit of becoming a professional winemaker. He started at Bernardus Winery in Carmel Valley, where he was mentored by Don Blackburn, a well-known Pinot Noir vintner who now crafts wine at Emeritus in the Russian River Valley. Paul worked his way up from cellar rat to cellar master at Bernardus and in 1999 moved on to Byington Winery in the Santa Cruz Mountains as assistant winemaker.

He developed a passion for cool climate viticulture and Pinot Noir in particular. To further his knowledge, he attended Lincoln University on the South Island of New Zealand and received a postgraduate degree in viticulture. Upon returning to the United States in 2003, he began working at Hahn Estates in the Santa Lucia Highlands with winemakers Adam Lazarre and Barry Gnekow. With time, Paul became the head winemaker at Hahn Estates and has brought the winery’s Pinot Noir program to prominence. Like many winemakers, Paul is rather shy and unassuming and underplays his considerable accomplishments. He is assisted by winemaker Greg Freeman.

Lucienne Vineyards is an estate winery within the Hahn Estates umbrella of wines launched with the 2005 vintage. Owned by Nicholas Lucien Hahn, the winery is a separate facility - a winery within a winery. The goal at Lucienne is to produce premium Pinot Noir in small lots from exceptional estate vineyards including Lone Oak Vineyard and Doctor’s Vineyard. The winery takes its name from Nicky Hahn’s middle name Lucien, but in the feminine form to honor the namesake of the Santa Lucia Mountain range where the vineyards are located.

Lucienne Pinot Noirs are sold through the website. 831-678-2132. The Hahn Estates tasting room in Soledad is open daily.

Reviewed Wines

2011 Lucienne Lone Oak Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.68, TA 0.64, 425 cases, $50. Released June 2013. Lone Oak is smallest and northernmost Pinot Noir estate vineyard. The cool 2011 vintage resulted in a relatively small crop, but the grapes that were harvested had greater intensity and concentration. Clones Pommard 5, 667 and 115. 100% de-stemmed, 3-day cold soak, native and proprietary yeasts, aged 13 months in 40% new and 60% neutral French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Scandalous aromatics featuring bright aromas of red cherries, raspberries, sandalwood and spice. A chewy wine that you want to nibble with a perfectly ripened array of red stone and berry fruits. Soft and nimble, with delicate dry tannins and a refreshing cut of acidity on the ridiculously long finish. This beauty has the balance that predicts longevity in the cellar. Score: 94. Reviewed November 9, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Lucienne Smith Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.55, TA 0.66, 438 cases, $50. Released June 2013. One of the first vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands and one of the original vineyards of Hahn Estate. It is the southernmost of the vineyards of Lucienne and located at the highest elevation, with the least influence from marine fog. Clones are Mt. Eden, Jardini, Pommard 5 and 2A. 100% de-stemmed, 3-day cold soak, proprietary yeast, aged 13 months in 42% new and 58% neutral French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Intoxicating aromas of fresh black cherries, dark red berries, cardamom spice and a hint of toasty oak. Discreetly concentrated flavors of dark cherries and berries with a complimentary riff of spice and oak. Outstanding harmony, very smooth and sensual, with an appealing cherry tang on the juicy and lengthy finish. The wine continues to pick up charm over time in the glass. Very easy to drink now, but should get even better with another year in bottle. Very impressive, even extraordinary. Score: 95. Reviewed November 9, 2013 ARTICLE »

2009 Lucienne Doctor’s Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.58, TA 0.63, 647 cases, $50. Released May 2011.11 different clones of Pinot Noir planted in this vineyard of 243 acres including Calera, 828, 777 and Swan. Aged in 35% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple robe. Aromas of ripe raspberries and cherries. Tasty core of cherries, red plums and vanilla. A lighter, elegantly styled wine with a lingering fruit presence on the bright finish. Good (+). Reviewed August 13, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Lucienne Doctor’s Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.58, TA 0.63, 647 cases, $50. Released May 2011.Aged in 35% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. This wine pushes the ripeness envelope with aromas of black cherries, black raspberries and black currants accented by spice, sandalwood and vanilla, and flavors that mimic the aromas with an added undertone of smoky oak and anise. Very silky and harmonious with a satisfying fullness on the palate. Score: 87. Reviewed November 9, 2013 ARTICLE »

2009 Lucienne Lone Oak Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.61, 138 cases, $50. Released May 2011. 146 acres planted to clones 777, 115, Pommard, 2A and 667. Aged in 35% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Muted fruit on the nose with prominent smoky oak. Medium weighted array of spicy dark red fruits, with notes of oak-derived vanillin, smoke and tar. No change the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. A bit muddled now. Decent. Reviewed August 13, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Lucienne Lone Oak Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.61, 138 cases, $50. Released May 2011. Aged in 35% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is alive with aromas of cherry pie, black grape and plum with hints of spice and smoky oak. Rich and fruit-driven on the palate with an array of very ripe dark cherry and berry fruits backed by smoky oak. Very polished tannins, a soothing mouth feel and a big finish that really hangs on. Score: 89. Reviewed November 9, 2013 ARTICLE »

2007 Lucienne Doctor’s Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.8% alc.. · Moderately deep reddish-purple robe in the glass. Very attractive nose replete with spiced berries. An extremely charming wine with the berry fruit core enhanced with notes of spice, cola and chocolate. Discretely rich, beautifully balanced, with an appealing elegance. Very good. Reviewed April 8, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Lucienne Lone Oak Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

700 cases, $45. The top wine of the tasting for me and my panel. · Very enticing aromas of cherries with an underlying minerality. Velvety and delicious with a classy core of silky red and black fruits that have a tremendous breadth in the middle palate and a remarkably persistent aromatic persistence. The mouthfeel is soft and seductive and the wine is beautifully balanced. The whole package. Reviewed January 27, 2011 ARTICLE »

2006 Lucienne Vineyards Doctor’s Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 347 cases, $35. Vineyard planted in 2002. 100% de-stemmed, cold soak for 3 days, inoculated with BGY yeast, fermented in 3-ton open top fermenters, punched down three times a day, pressed with a basket press. Aged 12 months in 47% new and 53% neutral French oak barrels. · Deep rich nose of fresh plum tart with near port aromas. Brambly, earthy and rich dark stone fruit flavors with a riff of raisin and oak, framed by soft tannins and good acidity. The fruit approaches but does not cross over into over ripeness. Reviewed April 18, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Lucienne Lone Oak Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 217 cases, $45. This is the high-end label from Hahn Estates in the Santa Lucia Highlands (see feature later in this issue). This wine represents a special selection from small blocks of Lone Oak Vineyard crafted by winemaker Paul Clifton. Aged in 50% new French oak. · This beauty has a vibrant black cherry fruitiness with interesting notes of coffee and leather. Very plush and velvety in the mouth with a fresh, lively and lengthy finish. Evocative and very satisfying. Reviewed April 18, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Lucienne Vineyards Lone Oak Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 217 cases, $45. Vineyard planted in 2001. 100% de-stemmed, lightly crushed, 3 day cold soak, fermented in 3-ton open top fermenters, inoculated with EC1118 yeast, punched down three times a day. Free run put to barrel, wine was pressed using a basket press, aged 12 months in 50% new and 50% neutral French oak barrels. · A thoroughly enjoyable wine with attractive spiced black cherries on the nose, dark cherries and raspberries on the palate framed by notes of coffee, leather and brown spice, augmented by supple tannins and ending with a lasting and silky finish. Reviewed April 18, 2009 ARTICLE »