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Hirsch San Andreas Fault Pinot Noir (375ml half bottle) 2016

Pinot Noir from Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County, California
  • W&S92
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

The San Andreas Fault Estate Pinot Noir is the flagship wine from Hirsch, and the wine that represents the summation of our complex vineyard. David Hirsch says if you drink only one of their wines this should be it. 100% estate, 100% Hirsch. In their 2016 Pinot Noirs, you will find the dark intensity of their 2015s, with the lift and energy of the 2014s.

Critical Acclaim

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W&S 92
Wine & Spirits
This is Anthony Filiberti’s first vintage at the Hirsch family’s vineyard in Fort Ross. It’s planted on a series of ridgetops three miles from the Pacific and 1,500 feet above it, those ridges formed by the San Andreas fault, resting under the land between the vines and the ocean. David Hirsch started planting the ridges in 1980, later converting the site to biodynamic farming. This blend includes fruit from the more exposed western ridges and the warmer, inland ridges to the east. W&S editor Patrick J. Comiskey described the wine as “classic Sonoma coast in its scent of laurel groves in the fog.” There’s a savory green character, the lovely spice driving floral black fruit through the earthy tannins. Those tannins will relax after a few years in the bottle.
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Hirsch

Hirsch Vineyards

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Hirsch Vineyards, 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.

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Sonoma Coast

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A vast appellation covering Sonoma County’s Pacific coastline, the Sonoma Coast AVA runs all the way from the Mendocino County border, south to the San Pablo Bay. The region can actually be divided into two sections—the actual coastal vineyards, marked by marine soils, cool temperatures and saline ocean breezes—and the warmer, drier vineyards further inland, which are still heavily influenced by the Pacific but not quite with same intensity.

Contained within the appellation are the much smaller Fort Ross-Seaview and Petaluma Gap AVAs.

The Sonoma Coast is highly regarded for elegant Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and, increasingly, cool-climate Syrah. The wines have high acidity, moderate alcohol, firm tannin, and balanced ripeness.

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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, not Pinot noir. 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 Village or Cru level wines. So "red Burgundy" still necessarily refers to Pinot noir.

SKRUSHIR4016H_2016 Item# 511283