Failla Hirsch Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010
Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
Aromatics of the Hirsch Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010 are quintessential Hirsch; expressive with raspberry, green tea, sandalwood and balsam. The palate shows the noble side of Pinot Noir; fine but resolved tannins that give way to great freshness as a result of the well preserved acidity.
Wine Enthusiast - "This shows the trifecta of winemaker Ehren Jordan’s deft hand, the fabulous Hirsch Vineyard and the wonderful 2010 vintage. Even if you knew nothing of the wine's pedigree, you'd be dazzled by its sheer richness of raspberry, cherry, cola and herb flavors, plus the firm, stone-driven minerality, the dryness, the feral mountain hints, the acidity and the overall dazzling structure. The alcohol level is comparatively restrained, providing just the right touch of warmth. New oak clocks in at only 30%, imbuing the wine with a nice seasoning of smoke. Tasted in a challenging lineup, it easily stood out. Definitely worth searching for, but only 375 cases were produced. Editors' Choice."
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "One of the best wines in this range, the 2010 Pinot Noir Hirsch Vineyard is fabulous. Today, the 2010 is showing just the barest hint of its ultimate potential. Behind the tannins and acidity lies a serious core of fruit just waiting to emerge. The 2010 Hirsch is distinguished for its deep layers of fruit and fabulous purity. Readers will have to be patient, though, as the 2010 is currently very closed in on itself.
International Wine Cellar - "Sexy, perfumed aromas of plum, cherry and spices. Silky on the palate but juicy rather than weighty, with lovely white pepper and spice high notes lifting the red fruit flavors. Very pure and light on its feet. Finishes broad and long, with suave tannins. A very refined California pinot from a superb site. This is 13.9% alcohol. 92(+?) points "
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While the history of Failla (pronounced FAY-la) is short it is not without its complexities. Founded as Failla Jordan in 1998, it took its name from the husband-and-wife team of winemaker Ehren Jordan and fellow debtor Anne-Marie Failla. That year we planted our Estate vineyard on the Sonoma Coast and began buying fruit for our first releases, the very Rhône-style '98 Alban Vineyard Viognier and '98 Que Syrah Syrah. View all Failla Wines
About Sonoma CountyRelated Links:
Twice as large as Napa in size, Sonoma County only makes about a half the amount of wine as her northeasterly neighbor. But Sonoma, with her size, is able to vouch for more diversity within her borders, including sub-AVAs that are climatically varied. The atmosphere of Sonoma is decidedly laid back and down home country style. But in wines, they are keeping up with the Joneses, or Napa-ites if you will. Grape varieties are more varied here, from Pinot Noir and Zinfandel to Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.
Notable FactsThe largest sub-AVAs of Sonoma include Dry Creek Valley, Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley and Sonoma Valley. Each sub-AVA, with its own micro-climate, is unique in its grape varieties and styles of wine. Dry Creek makes a mean Zinfandel while Russian River produces stand up Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The Alexander Valley makes some of the better Cabernet Sauvignons in the county and Sonoma Valley creates excellent wines from all the above varieties. Other grapes found throughout Sonoma include Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.