2011 Hirsch Vineyards "The Bohan-Dillon" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

SKU #1125162 92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Layers of bright, beautifully articulated fruit burst from the 2011 Pinot Noir Bohan Dillon. Nuanced, chiseled and wonderfully alive in the glass, the 2011 is energetic and vibrant throughout. Violets, pine and mint add attractive high toned notes on the finish. I imagine the 2011 will be even better with another year in bottle. The Bohan Dillon is one of my favorite mid-tier California Pinots. Hirsch crafts the Bohan Dillon from estate vineyards plus a portion of fruit from nearby Hellenthal, MacDougall and Nobles. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2021. David Hirsch provided what is, in my opinion, one of the key insights into the 2011 vintage on the Sonoma Coast. Hirsch commented that 2010 and 2011 were both similar. In 2010, he noted the skies were cloudy for much of the year, while rain just before harvest complicated things. Hirsch describes 2011 as a year with very clear skies, a lot of light and cool temperatures that never exceeded 90 degrees. As for the wines, well, they are gorgeous. I have not tasted all of the 2011 Pinots, but based on the Bohan Dillon, I will not be surprised if they turn out slightly better than the 2010s, which are a bit on the slender side. Still, there can be no question this is one of the premier sites for Pinot in the United States. Ross Cobb blended and bottled the 2009s, while 2010 is the first vintage Cobb made from beginning to end.  (4/2013)

K&L Notes

One-third of the fruit for this cuvee from Hirch Vineyards comes from Hirsch's famous estate vineyard, with the balance of fruit coming from the Hellenthal, MacDougal and Nobles vineyards which are in the newly established Fort Ross-Seaview AVA. The wine expresses the pure varietal expression of these vineyards and the "true" Sonoma Coast. The wine was aged in 35% new oak before being bottled in January, 2013. From the winery: "Explosive and exuberant aromatics, dominated by cherries and pomegranate, opening to reveal notes of orange peel, clove, baking spices and a hint of vanilla. On the palate, the rich fruit of juicy plums and bing cherries are balanced by energetic acidity and a lithe tannic structure."

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Price: $37.99
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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.

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.


- 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.
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 (%): 13.2