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Hirsch East Ridge Pinot Noir 2012

Pinot Noir from Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
  • WE90
13% ABV
  • WE94
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13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The very limited Hirsch East Ridge Estate Pinot Noir is sourced from the oldest blocks on the eastern side of the Hirsch Vineyard, partially sheltered from the marine influence. It is a masculine and powerful expression of the Vineyard, with fantastic structure, concentration and fruit.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 90
Wine Enthusiast
Complex and fascinating aromas suggesting cranberry, cedar and mushroom get your attention right away. Next a tight, firmly tannic texture takes over and seems to hold on to the fruit flavors. The wine is light to medium in body, and seems likely to let its flavors out after 2019. Cellar Selection
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Hirsch

Hirsch Vineyards

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Hirsch Vineyards, Fort Ross-Seaview, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
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Perched on a ridge overlooking the Pacific Ocean at Fort Ross, Hirsch Vineyards is the birth ground of great pinot noir on the extreme Sonoma Coast. David Hirsch founded the vineyard in 1980 to grow fruit and make site-specific wine. From the start all efforts have been on the growing of fruit that makes wines profoundly characteristic of the site vintage after vintage.

In the wines of Hirsch Vineyards, you find a natural balance and consistency in the harmonious resolution of these opposites. This complex, unique site produces fruit and wines of unusual acidity and balance with a vintage specific concentration of pinot noir or chardonnay fruit. These are wines to be enjoyed now or laid down for future consumption.

Fort Ross-Seaview

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On the far western edge of the larger Sonoma Coast appellation, the Fort Ross-Seaview AVA hugs right up against the Pacific coast. Vineyards, planted at rugged elevations between 920 to 1,800 feet, occupy only two percent of the total land in the AVA. Fort Ross-Seaview growers believe that the region boasts an ideal mix of sunshine, cool air and beneficial stress for producing high quality Chardonnay and Pinot noir.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

In the Glass

Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Villages or Cru level wines.

YAO166218_2012 Item# 166218