The Tasting Panel magazine

April 2013

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Page 34 of 164

INTRO-VINOUS Catching Up with DEN Christine Hanna photos by Anne Watson "A Christine Hanna. Photographed at Pelican Hill Resort in Newport Beach, CA. s our business evolved and the competition continued to enter the arena, we knew we had a stake in the ground for one varietal: Sauvignon Blanc." Christine Hanna, statuesque and beautiful, leads a thriving family business in the heart of Northern California's Alexander Valley: Hanna Winery. But not content to rest on the laurels of her popular Hanna Sauv Blanc, Christine has four estate vineyards in full production in Sonoma, from the Alexander Valley, where she sources Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, to the Russian River, for Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc, to the Bismark Vineyard, which lies on top of the Mayacamas on the Sonoma side of Mt. Veeder, for Zinfandel. "We are in refinement mode," she comments. "In many ways I have come into my own as a businesswoman and a mother." As a super mom, Christine is successful at both, adding the extra glory of launching her cookbook, The Winemaker Cooks, just two years ago. Whether working with her winemaking team in the cellar or on the streets hitting accounts with distributors as a seller, she finds opportunities to become more strategic as the face of the winery. But her results and rewards are in the bottle and the following notes are a tribute to her hard work. —Meridith May 34  /  the tasting panel  /  april 2013 Hanna 2012 Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River Valley ($19) may be their best ever release. This tank-fermented, cool climate white zings out lime zest and peach, but this edginess is held in check by a jasmine, heather and lilac trio and bundled by incense and spice. C M Y CM MY Hanna 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon, Alexander Valley ($35) hypnotizes with a fragrance of spiced cinnamon and dried cherries. The coffee and blueberry combo along with the lush mouthfeel gets an A-plus for food pairing. "We used to get too many herbal notes and sometimes too chalky tannins, Hanna points out. " "But in '09, we experimented with canopy management, pulling more leaves and picking earlier. With our western exposure in the Alexander Valley, the berries tended to shrivel up and become dehydrated, with high alcohol. Picking earlier keeps that alcohol lower and we still can have development of flavor. " Hanna 2010 Bismark Mountain Vineyard Zinfandel, Sonoma Valley ($56) turned Christine into a Zin lover. Sitting high on top of the Mayacamas Mountains at 1,400 to 1,600 feet, Bismark is the highest-elevation vineyard in Sonoma. The wine is not jammy or port-like; rather, it is structured, with natural acidity, overt fruit and amazingly juicy. There is a nutty quality, and Amarone-like extraction. Think osso buco or venison chops. CY CMY K © 2012, Spirits of Gold AB, Sweden, Karlsson's Gold Vodka, Vodka, 40 % Alc./Vol., Imported by MHW, Ltd., Manhasset, NY. Savor slowly. A SONOMA VINTNER—ANd SUPER MOM—HITS HER STRIDE

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