2010 Hirsch "San Andreas Fault" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir
*Cellar Selection* Dry and tart in acidity, this Pinot Noir offers cherry-skin-like tannins that give the palate a brittle sensation. Give it 5-6 years to let the raspberry and cherry flavors meld with the notes of oak and mineral. It should last the next 15 years, gradually losing its fruit and gaining earthy, mushroomy complexities.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Vivid red. Smoke- and spice-accented aromas of black raspberry, anise and incense. Shows assertive inner-mouth perfume and sweet red and dark berry character, along with a note of candied rose. Closes tight, tangy and long, with a resinous herb quality and silky tannins.
Allen Meadows - Burghound
This initially opens with a touch of reduction though a quick 5 minutes in a decanter liberates a relatively high-toned nose of raspberry, cranberry and floral nuances. There is a lovely sense of underlying tension to the refined and borderline delicate medium weight flavors that terminate in a dusty and mildly austere finish. This well-balanced effort displays impressive length though not quite the same concentration as the best here.
We confess to liking this wine's fragrant aromas of fresh berries, cherries, minerals and citrus, but its leaner, acid-framed flavors show a touch of something green at work, and its slightly wiry finish is punctuated by a bit of lemon zest. We like its pert and lively manner, and, even if it seems likely to stay on the lighter end of the varietal spectrum, we like its chances to grow for a couple of years.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Dark red cherries, spices, game and licorice all emerge from the 2010 Pinot Noir San Andreas Fault. A medium-bodied Pinot, the 2010 is harmonious and quite pretty. At times, the 2010 comes across as a bit wild and compact, as the fruit has not yet fully emerged. Today the 2010 appears to need more time in bottle to fully come together, although I imagine it will always reflect the personality of the years in its slender personality. Savory herbs, licorice and tobacco add complexity on the firm, structured finish. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2022. (AG)
The Hirsch Vineyards, out on the chilly far reaches of the Sonoma Coast, has been providing fruit to some of the biggest names in California Pinot for the last 30 years, including Littorai and Williams Selyem. The San Andreas Fault Pinot is the Hirsch family's flagship Pinot Noir, and it perfectly captures the essence of the fruit grown on this estate. The 2010 vintage was particularly cold on the coast, creating a wine that is even more elegant and restrained than vintages past. If you like cool climate Pinot Noir then you won't want to miss this. It's Sonoma Coast Pinot at its best!