The 2007 Vintage
A long, cool growing season with light rain and clear skies grew fruit of exceptional character: true to the pinot variety with a pronounced sense of place. Crop loads varied from block to block. Yields averaged from 1.2 to 3 tons per acre. Vine development was normal: bud break in mid-March, bloom the first week of May, and set on June 20. We saw the first color July 6. A cool July and August allowed even ripening and long maturation.
Then on August 27 the heat cranked up and all the young vines were ready for harvest. We labored fourteen to sixteen hours a day picking and sorting the fruit under the sweltering sun. The heat broke September 4 and the balance of the harvest proceeded smoothly. The last grape went into its tank on September 27.
Thirty-seven lots were produced. They yielded from two to twenty-three barrels of wine per lot. Given the cool year with its hot finish, the fruit developed highly textured tannins that support and frame the body of the wines. Each lot expressed the vintage in its own style, making the blending a real challenge. Our goal always is to offer wines that reflect the character of the site in a given year, not our tastes or techniques. Our principal role is to work with the site during the growing season to help keep the vines healthy and to bring balance to the ripening fruit. The winemaking continues this strategy by processing the fruit as gently as possible. There is no pumping, no additives of any kind, no foreign manipulation. What resulted in 2007 are superior wines of a superior vintage.
2007 was the twenty-eighth year of farming at Hirsch Vineyards. Given our experience and commitment, I feel that now we are in closer relation to the site and its vines, and thus can farm and make wines that are truer to the place. The 2007 wines are perhaps our most definitive offerings. This vintage is so exceptional that we feel obliged for the first time to reserve several of the most interesting barrels for small single block releases.
THE 2007 WINES
In 2007 we produced the following wines at Hirsch Vineyards:
2007 Hirsch Vineyards Estate Chardonnay
100% estate fruit form fields 10 & 12-2B, this wine exemplifies our approach to the site and the production of its wines. In 2005 we made a minuscule amount of chardonnay in glass containers. The result was startling: a chardonnay that put acids and a mineral mouth feel forward on the palate, with the varietal notes toward the back. We decided to make the 2007 wine by four methods of fermentation and aging: glass, oak, and stainless steel fermentation and aging; plus aging on oak some of the wine fermented in stainless.
500 cs produced, 14.5% alc
2007 Hirsch Vineyards “Bohan Dillon” Estate Pinot Noir
From the start, the Bohan Dillon pinot has been the apple of our eye. Our goal is to make an affordable world-class wine that brings to your glass the full spectrum of the Hirsch Vineyards site and shows the traditional character of pinot noir. The 2007 Bohan Dillon is probably as good as it gets in terms of value. This estate wine is complex, balanced, and focused. And all this without any tricks: it is pure pinot noir and pure Hirsch.
2,128 cs produced, 13.9% alc, 3.68 pH
2007 Hirsch Vineyards “M” Estate Pinot Noir
Of our three pinot cuvees, the M is the one we blend to reflect how the climate worked on the site and its vines that year. This great 2007 pinot noir is a blend of twenty-three barrels, of which fifty-two percent were from the 114 and 777 clones. These tend to bring more of the fruit to the core of the wine; yet the lineaments of acid and tannin are very evident and provide a vibrant frame for the body. This is a wine for serious pinot drinkers: keep out of the hands of children!
540 cs produced, 13.9% alc, 3.70 pH
2007 Hirsch Vineyards “San Andreas” Estate Pinot Noir
This is the wine that defines our work even as the San Andreas Fault defines our site. The 2007 is a wine of truly remarkable character in that it has a compact identity due to its balance, depth of fruit expression, and a potent focus: Like a laser with soul! And this potency is achieved with neither high alcohol nor intense extraction. It shows that true power derives from balance and focus, not might or sleight of hand tricks. Blended from twenty-six fermentation lots comprised of fruit of thirty-six farming blocks, it is the wine of the totality of this site in this great vintage.
1,642 cs produced, 14.0% alc, 3.67 pH
2007 Hirsch Vineyards “Block 6E” Estate Pinot Noir
This wonderful wine comes from an acre planted to the swan clone in 1995. This is a field selection taken from the Kistler Vineyard. Kistler took his cuttings from Dehlinger, who had it from Joe Swan: The New World is now sowing its own genealogy of pinot genotypes. The swan produces a rich, deep wine and the Hirsch site promotes very generous development of the acid-tannin complex.
48 cs produced, 15.0% alc, 3.54pH
2007 Hirsch Vineyards “Block 7” Estate Pinot Noir
In 1992 we planted 3.29 acres to the old Martin Ray-Mt Eden clone. After the El Nino rains of 1998 (150 inches over the winter months) the vines were near dead and we came close to ripping them out. Sensibly we decided to attempt to rehabilitate them and a short ten years later they have produced a marvelous pinot with the myriad Mt Eden and Hirsch nuances.
47 cs produced, 13.0% alc, 3.76 pH