2010 Hirsch "San Andreas Fault" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

SKU #1116525 93 points Wine Enthusiast

 *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.  (4/ 2013)

91 points 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.  (6/ 2013)

Allen Meadows - Burghound

 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.  (2/ 2010)

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.  (4/ 2013)

K&L Notes

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!

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Price: $59.99

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By: Chris Miller |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 3/1/2013  | Send Email
Interestingly enough, with about 5 or 6 hours left before departing to Italy for my annual buying trip, I found myself at the London Hotel in West Hollywood, at a tasting called "In Pursuit of Balance", essentially an exploration of cool climate Pinot Noir and Chardonny put on by my old buddy Raj Parr and Jasmine Hirsch. I've made no bones about finding many Califonia Pinots too overly extracted, overly oaked and just plain overly done where they're barely discernable as Pinot Noir, but I was nothing less than amazed by the across the board quality of the producers in attendance at this event. I didn't get a chance to taste this wine there, but was very impressed when we opened it here at the store. Bing cherry, hints of forest floor and spice, full bodied but elegant with fine tannins and a nice zesty streak of acidity, there is a touch of course oak on the finish that will certainly integrate with another half year or so in bottle. In fact, as well as it's drinking now, it would be very fun to watch this wine evolve over the next three to seven years. David Hirsch in undeniably a pioneer for this style of Pinot, and this wine is right in line with what he's all about. Very nice indeed. CM

By: Christie Cartwright |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 3/1/2013  | Send Email
I'm always a big fan of Hirsch Vineyards Pinot Noir, but at this price I'm their #1 fan! Compared to most Sonoma coast pinots that can be a touch over-ripe and dark purple in color, Hirsch shows way more pure Burgundian qualities such as the lighter dark pink color in the glass with exotic floral and spice notes, even a touch of blood orange peel. It shows elegance, brightness, pure strawberry seed, great acid and minerality so you can drink now or wait a few years and compare it with your Burgundy snob friends! Don't miss out on this one!

By: Mari Keilman |  K&L Staff Member  |  Review Date: 3/1/2013  | Send Email
The "San Andreas Fault" is their flagship wine and this wonderful old-world style pinot noir is the perfect example of how beautifully elegant California pinot noir can be in cooler vintages. Elegant notes of pomegranate, bright cherry and ripe raspberry pair harmoniously with the earthier sweet forest floor and smokey flavors that emerge on the finish.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).
Alcohol Content (%): 13.7