Hirsch Vineyards

Owner(s) David Hirsch
Web site www.hirschvineyards.com
 
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Hirsch Vineyards

David Hirsch was one of the first visionaries to plant Pinot Noir on the true Sonoma Coast and now farms 68 acres of Pinot Noir and 4 acres of Chardonnay on his 1,100-acre property. Initially, he moved to the area to escape urban life and considered farming trees in an effort to reforest a part of Sonoma's far coast where most of the timber had been decimated by the rebuilding of San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake. A friend, Jim Beauregard, a winegrower in the Santa Cruz Mountains, suggested the ridges would be perfect for growing Pinot Noir, and instead of trees, Hirsch planted two acres of Pinot Noir and Riesling in 1980. Hirsch had always been a passionate Burgundy drinker, so planting Pinot Noir made sense.

Additional plantings followed from 1990 through 1995, with the most recent vines established in 2002 bringing the total to 68 acres: 3.9 acres of Chardonnay and the rest Pinot Noir. Although 68 acres of vines, Hirsch Vineyard is divided into 60 different parcels that are all managed differently and ultimately vinified separately.

A winery was built in 2002 in an old sheep-bearing barn on the property, and the Hirsches began bottling some of their own production. Several notable winemakers have worked here, the most current being Ross Cobb of Cobb Wines. A second label, The Bohan-Dillon, is a combination of estate and purchased grapes and is also fine and less expensive. Hirsch supplies fruit to many prominent California (and at times even Oregon) wineries including Littorai, Williams Selyem, Faille, and Siduri, who all bottle Hirsch Vineyard designates.

The Hirsch's neighbors, the Bohan family, were the original growers in the region. They settled in 1947, grew a number of crops, and against the advice of University of California at Davis and others, planted grapes in 1972.

Beginning in 2011, Hirsch is gradually converting the entire property to biodynamics with Ted Lemon and Andrew Lorand consulting on the conversion. Since 2011, the property is part of the Fort Ross-Seaview AVA.

Hirsch produces Pinot Noir and Chardonnay under the Hirsch Vineyards label. Production is 5,500 cases annually, 92% of which is estate grown. The Hirsch Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays are highly sought after.

Tours and tasting are by appointment (plan on a full day if driving from more populated areas of Sonoma and try to time your visit when it isn’t raining - Cazadero receives 80 inches of the wet stuff each year). Every true pinotphile should make the pilgrimage some time in their life. The wines are sold through a mailing list and retail distribution. David's daughter, Jasmine, started at the winery with the 2008 vintage, helps out in the vineyard and cellar, but is primarily a spokesperson for Hirsch Vineyard and travels handling sales and marketing. David's wife, Marie, designs the labels.

Articles About Hirsch Vineyards

2011 Chardonnay All-Americans (8.47 12/20/2011)
2012 California Pinot Noir All-Americans Honorable Mention (9.17 12/26/2012)
2012 California Pinot Noir All-Americans Second Team (9.17 12/26/2012)
2012 Chardonnay All-Americans (9.17 12/26/2012)
2014 California Pinot Noir Honorable Mention All-Americans (10.2 12/15/2014)
Blast from 2011 World of Pinot Noir (8.33 3/12/2011)
California Chardonnay Tasting (7.25 9/5/2009)
California Pinot With Plenty of Noir (8.37 5/13/2011)
Celebrated Vineyards Focus Tasting (7.24 8/28/2009)
Hirsch Vineyard: Grand Cru on Sonoma Coast (6.63 8/4/2008)
Hirsch Vineyards: Redemption after a Nightmarish Vintage (9.26 6/23/2013)
Hirsch Vineyards: Seismic Pinot (9.3 2/22/2012)
In Pursuit of Balance: A Discriminating Goal (9.20 2/26/2013)
Legacy of Mike Bohan (6.45 11/12/2007)
More Princely Pinots (8.42 8/11/2011)
More Sips of California Pinot Noir & Chardonnay (9.20 2/26/2013)
On the Pinot Trail at West of West Festival, Part I: West Sonoma Coast (9.28 8/14/2013)
Part II: History of Fort Ross-Seaview Area (9.28 8/14/2013)
Part III: Fort Ross-Seaview AVA Today (9.28 8/14/2013)
Part IV: Tasting Pinot Noir from the Fort Ross-Seaview AVA (9.28 8/14/2013)
Pinot Briefs (9.39 3/29/2014)
Recent Chardonnays to Recommend (8.37 5/13/2011)
Recent Sips of Pinot Noir (9.40 4/17/2014)
Sips of California Chardonnay & A Few Other Whites (9.26 6/23/2013)
Small Sips of Pinot (8.7 12/16/2009)
West Sonoma Coast Vintners (8.32 3/1/2011)

Reviewed Wines

2011 Hirsch Vineyards The Bohan-Dillon Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., pH 3.48, 1,012, cases, $34. About one-third Hirsch fruit, with the balance from neighbors including Hellenthal, McDougall and Nobles vineyards. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Highly scented with aromas of black cherries, Hoison sauce, spicy oak and rosebud. A lighter but tasty wine with straight forward flavors of black cherries and blue and black berries complimented by cedary oak. The tannins are nicely balanced, the wine is silky on the palate, and the cherry really sings on the finish. Good. Reviewed June 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Hirsch Vineyards Estate Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

13.5% alc., pH 3.35, 506 cases, $55. · Golden straw color and clear in the glass. Very appealing aromas of crème brûlée, white peach, lemon drop and brioche. Very clean and polished, with flavors of white stone fruits, apple and citrus, sporting a pleasing touch of oak, and showing some aromatic intensity on the somewhat lengthy finish. Very good. Reviewed June 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Hirsch Vineyards San Andreas Fault Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., pH 3.47, TA 0.59, 3,091 cases, $60. The winery’s signature wine that represents the entirety of this multifaceted vineyard. This wine has fruit from 27 distinct farming blocks, more than any other wine made from the Hirsch Vineyard. Vines planted between 1980 and 2003. Clones are Pommard and Wädenswil (48%), Swan (21%), 777 (14%) and small amounts of Mt Eden and 114. 10% whole cluster inclusion. Aged 18 months in 35% new French oak barrels. Second vintage crafted by winemaker Ross Cobb. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. A haunting, searching perfume of black fruits, spice box, rose petal and herbs. Mid weight flavors of plum, boysenberry and cassis that are ripe and pure framed by balanced tannins. Invigorating and accessible, with an explosive finish of uncommon length. Score: 92. Reviewed April 19, 2014 ARTICLE »

2011 Hirsch Vineyards East Ridge Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., pH 3.39, TA 0.62, 301 cases, $85. East Ridge is a distinct microsite within Hirsch Vineyard, comprising an area of 18 acres divided into 16 farming blocks. This wine is a selection of the very best barrels from five of the oldest blocks on the East Ridge. 58.3% Pommard and Wädenswil, 33.3% Mt Eden and 8.3% Swan. Vines planted between 1990 and 1998. 20% whole cluster inclusion. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Pure, clean aromas of blackberry jam, Hoison sauce, spice and damp soil. More intensity and length here, with rich flavors of earth-kissed purple and black fruits flooding the palate, complimented by a dusting of tannins and a bright spark of acidity. The wine finishes with an immensely satisfying finish that goes on and on. Terrific juice. Score: 94. Reviewed April 19, 2014 ARTICLE »

2011 Hirsch Vineyards West Ridge Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.8% alc., pH 3.42, TA 0.61, 195 cases, $85. West Ridge is a series of hilltop vineyard blocks along the main ridge of Hirsch Vineyard covering 28 acres and divided into 27 farming blocks. This bottling is a selection of the most exceptional barrels from three of the very best blocks on West Ridge. 50% Mt Eden, 47.5% Swan and 12.5% Pommard and Wädenswil. Vines planted between 1992 and 1995. 10% whole cluster inclusion. Aged 18 months in 25% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish purple hue in the glass. Delicate, but pleasing aromas of red cherry, raspberry jam and Christmas pine. Lighter and more elegant, with a little more oak sheen overshadowing the crisp cherry and raspberry fruit. More citrus-driven acidity in this wine that offers very suave tannins and easy accessibility. A more feminine wine, but like the San Andreas and East Ridge bottlings, a very long and tantalizing finish. Score: 92. Reviewed April 19, 2014 ARTICLE »

2010 Hirsch Vineyards “San Andreas Fault” Estate Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., pH 3.57, TA 0.57. 1300 feet elevation on average, various aspects, 0-45% slope, Pommard, Mt Eden, Swan 114 and 777 clones, various rootstocks, various soils. Average Brix 22.9º, 100% de-stemmed, aged 18 months in 35% new French oak. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is closed for business. Delicate flavors of cherries and cranberries with briar-themed oak in the background. Noticeable tannins with a smooth mouth feel and short finish. Reviewed August 14, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Hirsch Vineyards East Ridge Estate Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 240 cases, $N/A. Release fall 2013. From an 18-acre unique microclimate planted to Mt. Eden, Swan and Pommard clones. A selection of the best barrels from the three oldest blocks on the East Ridge. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Exotic aromas of wild berries, wooded forest and a hint of oak. Delicious core of sappy, dark red berry and black cherry fruit. Elegant, polished and smoothly textured, sporting some prominent tannins and oak that will integrate over time. Definitely lighter and less concentrated in this vintage, but a thoroughly pleasing wine. Very good. Reviewed June 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Hirsch Vineyards Reserve Estate Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., 295 cases, $N/A. Release spring 2014. A selection of the best barrels from eleven of the oldest and finest vineyard blocks at Hirsch. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. A great expression of Pinot Noir with marvelous aromas of black cherries, molasses, spice and oak. Mid weight flavors of black cherries, black raspberries and Dr. Pepper that are the most generous and concentrated of all the Hirsch wines in this vintage. Silky on entry, with striking Pinot sweetness on the mid palate, showing a firm, balanced tannic backbone, and finishing with a flourish of spicy black cherry fruit. Will benefit from more bottle age. A wine truly deserving of the reserve designation. Reviewed June 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Hirsch Vineyards West Ridge Estate Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.8% alc., 165 cases, $N/A. Release fall 2013. From a series of hilltop blocks covering 28 acres. A selection of the most exceptional barrels from three of the very best blocks on West Ridge planted to Mt. Eden, Swan and Pommard clones. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is shy, offering scents of red cherries and berries with a hint of toasty oak. This wine has a spring in its step due to vibrant acidity. While the East Ridge shows off darker fruits, the West Ridge features redder fruits and less tannin. It is a more giving and vibrant wine now than the East Ridge. Very good. Reviewed June 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 The Bohan-Dillon Hirsch Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., $28. · Light reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of cranberries, alpine strawberries, raspberries, spice, oak and forest floor. Delicate but pleasing red fruit flavors including pomegranate with a hint of baking spice, and a thrust of citrus peel acidity on the tangy, crisp finish. Very supple tannins make for a satisfying daily drinker. Good. Reviewed February 27, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Hirsch Vineyards San Andreas Fault Estate Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., $60. Release fall 2013. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Oak-dominated nose of coffee and dark caramel scents. Elegant, with light weight cherry and cranberry flavors backed by toasty oak and noticeable tannins. The delicate fruit is buried in oak at present but this should resolve to some degree with more time in bottle. Good (+). Reviewed June 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2009 The Bohan-Dillon Hirsch Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., $26. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of red and black berries, mushrooms and forest floor. Light to medium weight flavors of dark red fruits with a slight stem and herbal note, finishing with a crisp and uplifting riff. Good. Reviewed August 13, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Hirsch Vineyards Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

14.0% alc., $44. Fermented and aged in glass, stainless steel and oak. All estate fruit. · Very fragrant with scents of apple pie, brioche, yeast and wet rocks. Crisp and juicy with flavors of white peaches, apples and yeast with apple hi-notes persisting on the acid-driven and minerally finish. Very good. Reviewed May 15, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Hirsch Vineyards “San Andreas Fault” Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.63, $60. Hirsch Vineyards’ signature Pinot Noir representing the entirety of the vineyard. The fruit is sourced from 21 distinct farming blocks within Hirsch Vineyards. The 2009 vintage was remarkable for its coolness and evenness of weather throughout the growing season. Aged 17 months in 35% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose evolves slowly in the glass, revealing enticing aromas of berry pie, spice and musk. Delicious essence of black plums and black raspberries with a wild, untamed quality. Relatively delicate on the palate, yet the fruit really pops and coats the mouth for at least a minute on the finish. Seamless, with undeniable charm. Reviewed February 22, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Hirsch Vineyards Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

14.0% alc., pH 3.32, TA 0.63, 725 cases, $75. Four vinification processes: fermented and aged on glass, oak and stainless steel and fermented on stainless steel and aged in oak. All four components were blended and racked to mostly neutral French oak barrels 9 months before bottling. · Medium golden straw color in the glass. Beautifully perfumed with scents of pear, lemon curd, bark, roasted nuts and honey. Delicious spectrum of flavors including pears, baked apples, and creme brulee with a striking aciddriven minerality on the back end. Medium weighted richness with a very smooth texture offering exceptional freshness and refreshing acidity. I have had some stunning Chardonnays from the Sonoma Coast of late and this one may take the cake. Reviewed February 22, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Hirsch Vineyards “East Ridge” Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.46, TA 0.66, 160 cases, $85. A limited bottling from three of the oldest blocks on the East Ridge of the Hirsch Vineyard comprised of 18 acres and 16 farming blocks. Dominated by Pommard and Mt. Eden clones, this bottling is a selection of the very best barrels from these old blocks. Aged 17 months in 35% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Alluring aromas of black cherries and spice. Impressive rush of earth bound black cherry and dark berry fruit on the mid palate, persisting on the long and expressive finish. The mild, sinewy tannins add support and well-honed acidity adds vibrancy. Plenty of character in this wine and in my opinion, the best expression of Hirsch Vineyards Pinot Noir among the wines tasted here. I had some wine left over after tasting the following day, my wife took the wine as a gift to her hairdresser who loves Pinot Noir, but mistakenly left it in the trunk where it stayed for three days. When I retrieved it, five days after opening, it was still fabulous! Built for the long haul and an exceptional Sonoma Coast treasure. Reviewed February 22, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Hirsch Vineyards “West Ridge” Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., pH 3.48, TA 0.67, 127 cases, $85. A limited production bottling from three exceptional hilltop blocks on the West Ridge of the Hirsch Vineyard covering 28 acres and divided into 27 farming blocks. This bottling is a selection of the most exceptional barrels from these blocks. Dominated by Mt. Eden clone with a dash of Swan clone. Aged 17 months in 35% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Exotically fruited, with a panoply of fresh, dark berry aromas underlain with scents of oak and underbrush. Pleasing core of dark berry and plum fruit wrapped in moderate tannins with a citric peel acidity in the background. Develops more vivacious fruit over time in the glass indicating cellaring is warranted. Very good. Reviewed February 22, 2012 ARTICLE »

2007 Hirsch Vineyards “San Andreas Fault” Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.0% alc.. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of dark red stone and berry fruits with accents of oak, malt and coffee bean. Veers to the redder fruit spectrum with moderate intensity. A refined wine with well-managed oak and tannins, and a lively, grippy finish effusive with cherries and oak. I suspect this wine will continue to improve over the next few years. Very good. Reviewed February 22, 2012 ARTICLE »

2007 The Bohan-Dillon Hirsch Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $28. · Deeper and earthier than the 2006 version of this wine with exotic woods and oak toast adding interest to the cherry fruit. Medium-weighted core of cherry and cranberry fruit with a silky mouthfeel and a good grip of acidity on the refreshing finish. Not an epiphanic wine, but well-priced and direct. Decent (+) Reviewed December 16, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Hirsch San Andreas Hirsch Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.67, 1.642 cases, $60. Blended from 26 fermentation lots composed of fruit from 36 farming blocks and represents the totality of this site in this vintage. Aged 21 months in French oak barrels. · Very restrained aromatics. More giving on the palate with layers of interest including black cherry and cranberry fruit, cola, baking spices and a little sauvage. Still young and tight, it has the harmony to age for years. Very good (+). Reviewed March 12, 2011 ARTICLE »

2007 Hirsch Vineyards San Andreas Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $60. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Very lovely aromas of a wild berry mix with accents of spice and oak. Wow! A mid weight core of dark red cherries and berries coats the mouth, uplifted with bright acidity that leads to a refreshingly juicy finish. A seamless wine lover’s wine with charming elegance that should age gracefully. Reviewed May 15, 2011 ARTICLE »

2006 Hirsch Vineyards M Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., 448 cases. A middle cuvée of the Hirsch Vineyards site from 22 blocks. · Moderately light purple color in the glass. This wine offers an appealing elegant bent with vivid flavors of fresh red and black fruits, especially cherries, set off by oak spice. The fruit really impacts the mid palate with attention-getting force and lasts forever on the big finish. Very good (+). Reviewed February 22, 2012 ARTICLE »

2006 Hirsch Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc.. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of dark pie cherries and oak vanillin. Nicely flavored with an array of fruits including black cherries, dark red raspberries and currants and a riff of oak and cola in the background. Well-managed tannins add support and perky acidity provides a refreshing tone. This wine aims to please and is drinking beautifully now. Very good. Reviewed February 22, 2012 ARTICLE »

2006 The Bohan-Dillon Hirsch Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., $28. Hirsch Vineyards “village” wine. The family cat is featured on the label. · Moderately light in color. Attractive gathering of aromas of cherries, spice, herbs and oak. Oak-toned delicate cherry flavor with soft tannins. A very approachable light drink. Decent. Reviewed December 16, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 The Bohan-Dillon Hirsch Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., $30. · A simple Pinot Noir that makes a pleasant overall impression. Earth, damp leaf and spiced cherry scents with red Pinot fruit flavors enhanced by tones of herbs and oak. Light in the mouth with a good acid kick on the backend. Reviewed November 12, 2007 ARTICLE »

2006 The Bohan-Dillon Hirsch Vineyard Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., $30. This wine is composed of barrels that do not make the grade for the Estate label. None was produced in 2004 and 2005 due to low crop yields. Yields and tonnage in 2006 were very generous, exceeding all vintages over the previous nine years. At least twice as much fruit was dropped in 2006 as harvested in 2005. The bunches and berries were not unusually large, but very compact. · A simple Pinot Noir that makes a pleasant overall impression. Earth, damp leaf and spiced cherry scents with red Pinot fruit flavors enhanced by tones of herbs and oak. Light in the mouth with a good acid kick on the backend. Reviewed August 4, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 Hirsch Vineyard Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

15.1% alc., $50. The first Chardonnay release from Hirsch fruit that formerly was vinified by winery clients. · Intriguing aromas of green apples, wet stones and smoke. Tangy apple flavors with oak playing a supporting role. Hi-tone acidity and remarkable minerality. Really good. Reviewed September 5, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Hirsch Vineyards M Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., 448 cases $50. The label says: “It is a Marvelous and Mellifluous Middle cuvee of our site of fruit from 22 blocks. A wine for grownups.” · The nose is flat and subdued initially but opens with swirling to aromas of deeply spiced cherries and roses with a whiff of alcohol. Highly structured and built for the long haul. Very earthy with notes of game and oak spice accentuating the black cherry fruit. Not particularly expressive now, but you get the feeling there is plenty of pleasure waiting to get out. Velvety soft in texture and beautifully crafted. A keeper. Reviewed August 4, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 Hirsch Vineyards Estate Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $55. Composed of 32 blocks from the Hirsch estate. · Very complex and constantly evolving aroma mix of dark cherries, cranberry, wet stone, Xmas spices including clove and cinnamon, mint and oak. Earth-dusted black fruits with a hint of raisin. Soft in the mouth with slippery tannins and an appealing elegance. Reviewed August 4, 2008 ARTICLE »

2005 Hirsch Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc.. · Darkly colored in the glass. An oak-driven nose offering aromas of brier, coffee bean and toast. Earthy, savory and rugged, with black plum and darker berry flavors, accented by oak, finishing with admirable persistence of slightly tart black cherries. A masculine expression of Pinot Noir that is holding its own. Good (+). Reviewed February 22, 2012 ARTICLE »

2004 Hirsch Vineyards Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc.. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Ripe aromas of black cherries and wild berries with hints of leather, clay, seasoned oak and rose petals. Moderately intense and bordering overripeness, with a core of black cherries, black raspberries, poached plums, black currants and raisins, and some oak in the background. Very tasty with mildly firm tannins and a crisp finish. The ripest of the 2004-2009 vintages. Starting to turn the corner and the only wine tasted in this lineup that was showing age. Drink up. Good. Reviewed February 22, 2012 ARTICLE »

2003 Hirsch Vineyard Estate Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

15.1% alc.. · Flamboyant and sexy perfume of crushed black cherries and blackberries with a lovely accent of oak and dried herbs. Alcohol peeks out a skoosh. Delicious dark red fruit compote that coats the tongue. Hedonistic, but silky and satiny, with a nice tang on the finish. Reviewed August 4, 2008 ARTICLE »

2002 Hirsch Vineyard Estate Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.1% alc.. · Ripe plump cherries and oak spice with an infusion of floral scents. Earthy and dusty cherry fruit with some shroom and tangerine peel. Still sporting some tannin creating a dry finish. Still has plenty of life left. Reviewed August 4, 2008 ARTICLE »