And it wouldn’t have mattered if the guy had explained why he disliked it, or why he thought it was wrong, but instead, he just said:
“…if people stop buying Hahn Monterey Pinot Noir, that can only be a good thing. This was served at a dinner party I went to last Saturday, and that shit is nasty, with a really artificial-feeling mouthfeel, like something was added to increase glycerin levels. I suspect something worse than plain old oak chips. It quite literally made my stomach churn. I'd never say this to my friend who brought it (and sadly, it's his new favorite wine) so let's keep this thought between you and me, eh?”
Adam LaZarre, former winemaker at Hahn (the reins have since been transferred to Paul Clifton) actually came to our store last year and put on a terrific seminar surrounding the Hahn Family commitment to Pinot Noir, and he demonstrated the different styles that the Hahn and Cycles Gladiator Pinot Noirs have. We had a capacity crowd that was knocked out by the quality and value that the Hahn Pinot Noir presents, and I didn’t hear a soul then utter the word “shitty” when describing this wine.
I’ve been in the business for some 20 years, and while I have to admit, I have tasted some shitty wines in my day, and none of them remotely come close to how the Hahn Pinot Noir tastes. And I most certainly would not commit this to print (traditional or electronic). The rub of “putting your balls” out there as Jerry Cantrell (as a Kinkos-esque copy boy) tells Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire, is that, as Jerry Maguire does, get them stomped on. I don’t know the guy who writes Wicker Parker, so this isn’t a personal thing, it’s just that I don’t even understand why he even brought it up. The blog post was about something completely different – Grignolino grape and Football via Decanter and the French gov’t telling its citizens not to drink wine.
I just think that if he was going to talk about Hahn and his impression of the wine, he would have done it in a more constructive way. For laughs, I pulled my two assistant wine buyers and one of my beer buyers into the office and we opened up a Hahn Pinot Noir 2006, to see if we could see what Mike at Wicker Parker was talking about, and the overall consensus was that we couldn't taste anything in the way of flaws; this was a varietally correct, well-crafted wine with very nice cherry flavors, notes of candied fruit, spice and nuttiness. While it had a tiny bit of glycerol character, that certainly didn't take away from it recommendability. I wouldn't hesitate for a second to walk out into the store and single this out to any one of our customers as a good everyday drinking Pinot Noir. And by the way, Oprah even wrote this wine up in her magazine, and you know she wouldn't sell people crap, she's a fucking multimedia conglomerate for Christ's sake!
Everyone is entitled to their opinion, but the glibness in his delivery makes me wonder what the judges were thinking when they passed over the likes of 1Wine Dude or Wannabe Wino.