94 Points - James Halliday
The Haan philosophy was established right at the beginning with Hanenhof Vineyards being managed as a true wine estate. Their clear understanding of wine excellence, providing the best possible conditions in both vineyard and winery has been the key to their success, allowing them to show distinct varietal Character and classical style. The vineyard is run on a ‘minimal input’ system, offering considerable environmental protection.
Hailing from the Barossa Valley, one of the worlds renowned grape growing districts, this exclusive wine's production is currently limited to approximately 4,000 cases, using only premium quality grapes produced exclusively on the estate. Owned by Hans and Fransien Haan, the 47acre property was purchased in 1993, with the first wine produced in 1997.
The Merlot and Cabernet Franc chosen from their vineyard are grown in sandy loam soil on a vertical trellis system with movable foliage wires to expose the fruit to the sun for maximum development of flavour and character.Both of these varieties are hand picked, then processed separately and only after 8 months in wood are individual barrels selected for this blend. During fermentation, they are plunged 3 times per day to ensure maximum flavour extraction. Only premium oak barrels are used for fermentation, where the temperature is allowed to rise to 28°C and the wine remains in contact with the skins for 7 days.
This wine has received several favourable reviews including from James Halliday, who gives it 94 points and writes in his Wine Companion that the wine has "Good colour; the fragrant bouquet has notes of spice and fresh-rolled tobacco, the plush, light- to medium-bodied palate with plum, cassis and cedar flavours; good tannin management adds its weight".
The essence of the Classic Blend range is the abundance of fruit flavours. A softer oak regime is used to enhance this character. Only 20% of new oak is used in this blend, with the balance being 2-3 year old French oak. The wine is matured in oak for only 12 months before bottling.
In keeping with the Haan philosophy there has come the ability to blend Classic varieties to achieve a wine that shows the strength and grace typical of upper echelon wine.
This results in aromas of cigar box and cedar spice, mulberry and dark berry fruits, with rich black cherry and velvety plums on the palate. A precise and strong expression of dark berry fruits from the Merlot is well balanced with the subtle savouriness of the Cabernet Franc. This harmonious blend gives wonderful length of flavour with fine integrated tannins. The Haan 'Classic' Merlot - Cabernet Franc can be enjoyed with a variety of meals from rich pastas to red meats.
Whilst created to enjoy now, this wine has the potential to develop further with more bottle age. We expect it to show well around 4–6 years. Decant for further enjoyment.
As a measure of the quality of this winery and its wines, Haan Wines took out the prestigious award at IWSC as “Australian Producer of the Year” in 2005.