Aromas of wild raspberries, rainier cherries, cassis, Asian spices, crème brulee, truffles and forest floor, espresso, cola and truffles burst out of the glass. Intense flavors of berries and anise with a hint of wild game coat the palate. The palate is silky in texture with five spice and cardamom giving way to strawberry and raspberry fruit across the mid-palate. The back palate displays spicy oak, supple tannins, coffee and orange rind, all of which combine for a long, lasting finish. Sandalwood, vanilla, and anise are countered with berries and black cherry skin in the mouth. This is a complete wine, showing true Hirsch site specificity. With each year the mature vines at Hirsch seem to bring more complexity and balance to the wine.
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.
The 2010 vintage produced wines reflective of each individual vineyard site and appellation with concentrated aromas, rich fruit flavors, nicely balanced acidity and supple tannin structure. The hallmark of the 2010 vintage is one of extremes; between cool, early season temperatures and extreme late season heat, wines of tremendous character were made through careful attention to detail.