Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Hawk Haven Vineyard Brut Methode Champenoise Estate 2017 (NJ)

While I was at Eastern Winery Exposition 2020 in Lancatser, PA, I had the opportunity to see Todd Weuker, the winemaker at Hawk Haven. There, I tried the Hawk Haven Vineyard Brut Methode Champenoise Etsate 2017.

The wine in made from a traditional blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay all estate grown. Weuker's hope was to keep it classic by producing the wine using the m├ęthode champenoise, the classic method of making sparkling wine in the Champagne region for centuries.

According to Todd, "The grapes for sparkling wine are typically harvested earlier than other varietals in order to get a higher acidity and lower pH for the freshness quality of the sparkling wine. Harvesting the grapes by hand allows us to work carefully, which means less waste and grape rupture. As you may imagine, hand-picking takes a little longer than machinery would, but with the right help, things can move along at a good pace."

"The next process that occurs is pressing. Grapes are pressed whole as this gently releases the juice. For a sparkling wine, minimal skin pigmentation is key to getting the lighter hue. Red wines get their color from the skins of the red grape, so in the case of Pinot Noir we want as little skin pigmentation as possible. This too is a slow process, so patience is key."

A lot of care an attention went into making this small production, high quality wine.

The wine was fantastic. The lovely straw colored wine was filled with long strings of lovely pearl-ish bubbles. A lovely nose of bread, ripe pear, and lovely fresh apple wafted up to the nose first. On the nose hints of apple and pear dominated, with lovely tropical aromas and flavors, which them moved to a lovely lemon curd, before completely dissolving to toast and vanilla and cream. The after taste of fresh apple spritzed with lemon lingered n the palate. A lovely, refreshing, crisp wine. Bright and beautiful and complex.  Elegant. Refined.

A great accomplishment!!!!

p.s. According to Todd, "During all this, we are just getting our new online store up and running, along with new web site.  Not good timing huh. We are promoting up to 30% off wines thru the 31st." Good news!