PINOT NOIR. 1975. H.M.R.
by Paul Kalemkiarian Sr | November 1982
I know Dr. Hoffman from our old Inglewood (CA) days. He was a well known cardiologist in the town, and at that time I owned a pharmacy a mile away and was the local apothecary. (late 50’s & 60’s).
In 1961, he purchased a 1200 acre almond and walnut ranch near Templeton and soon converted to grapes. Paso Robles needed a cardiologist, so he moved his medical practice, and set up his two sons in the wine business. As their mentor, he secured the services of the famous Andre Tchelistcheff, dean of California winemakers. The result was instant success at making good wines.
The Hoffman Mountain Ranch (HMR) is in the Santa Lucia Mountain Range. It has several microclimates and soil that is considered very ideal. Tchelistcheff refers to the area as a “jewel of ecological elements”. Take these elements, add modern equipment, plus the guiding hand of the master, and you will get the likes of our wine this month. Like many wineries, HMR has had winners and losers among its wines. Recently, their marketing effort showed up with problems that they could not solve themselves. An investment group bought in and is showing good signs of reviving the company. I am pleased to see this, since I think the Hoffmans have a good foundation established.
The reason for featuring another California Pinot Noir this month after having shown you one in September is dual. First, the “scoop” I described on page 1 was a quirk, and only available row or never. Second, this one has classical “Burgundian” character that is rarely seen among domestic Pinot Noirs.(The “California” character for Pinot Noir varies and has its own spectrum, of which the September selection was an interesting part). It behooves you to compare these. It will be an education for your palate. Maybe later, you can compare it with genuine Burgundy of breed. (prepare your pocketbook!).
The wine is garnet red, with browning edges. It has a fragrant, perfumy bouquet, with the very essence of an aged Pinot Noir varietal character. The aroma is penetrating. The taste shows a full body, glyceriny and velvety. It is dry and well balanced. Some tannin still. Clear varietal character which lingers in the mouth. Serve at room temperature with roast lamb, pork, or beef.
Cellaring Notes: Will mellow and develop complexities for 5 to 10 years. Put some away at this