2009 Hirsch Vineyard Pinot Noir
Classic Hirsch with aromas of wild blackberries, cassis, cola and truffles bursting out of my glass. The concentrated flavors of wild berries, spice, cardamom and coffee expand throughout the palate. Round brooding tannins coat the palate nicely with a juicy acidity in the finish. The darker fruits and mature tannins from the Pommard block really make this a much more complete wine showing true site specificity.
—Winemaker Bob Cabral
Scores & Reviews
|94||Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar||May-June 2011|
The Hirsch Vineyard is located above Fort Ross on a rugged, mountainous ridge parallel to the Pacific shore at an altitude of roughly 1,500 feet above sea level. David Hirsch farms 72 acres of his 1,100 acre ridgetop ranch, planted mostly in Pinot noir. Though located within 3.5 miles of the ocean, the vineyard is well above the marine fogline, receiving radiant sunlight throughout the day during the growing season. In close proximity to the San Andreas Fault line, the vineyard consists of a patchwork of blocks with geologically diverse soils and varying exposures and a variety of clones. Hirsch Blocks 4B, 5E and 6F that make up the Williams Selyem Hirsch Pinot Noir are planted in Mt. Eden, Pommard and Swan clones, respectively.
2009 produced magnificent wines, to rival those of 2007, expressing the individuality of the sites on which they were grown with intense flavors and perfumed aromas.
Following the hardships of the 2008 growing season, late winter and spring of 2009 were unseasonably warm with little precipitation. Bud break occurred early March and unlike 2008, frost was not a problem. Berry set was even, benefitting from ideal daytime temperatures around 70F-75F, despite early May rains. Some bunch-stem necrosis was evident on our vineyards, resulting in loss of yields.
The summer months were characterized by cooler than average weather, aided by morning fog, with very few heat spikes during the fruit ripening stage of the vine growth cycle. This resulted in intense flavor and aroma development, good acidity and phenolic development in tune with sugar accumulation. Warmer weather in late August ensured optimal ripeness culminating in harvest commencing in earnest by the Labor Day weekend. A warm September ensured that all Pinot Noir (Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Central Coast), Zinfandel and Chardonnay were picked before the mid-October rains that played havoc with later ripening varieties. Moderate yields delivered wines of exceptional color, flavors, and aromas with balanced acidity and tannins.
As in 2007, the wines convey their unique characters in a vivid, precise and evocative manner. The 2009 vintage is one of the finest I have experienced in my 31 vintages at a commercial winery.
|Barrel Description:||71% new, 29% 1-year-old|
|Barrel Aged:||16 months|
|Release Date:||Fall 2011|