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THE 2016 VINTAGE

The winter of 2015-16 was dry and mild, the fifth year of the historic California drought that began in the winter of 2011-2012.

Approximately 40” of rain fell at Hirsch that winter, which is about 50% of our long-term historical average, but enough to saturate the soil and give the vines a much needed respite from the challenging conditions of the last few years. Overall vine vigor and health was much improved, although signs of drought stress persisted, especially in the older blocks. 

Spring was early and mild, transitioning to a growing season that was mostly cool and sunny. Experience has shown us that conditions such as these can produce our finest wines, and 2016 was no exception. The grapes ripened more with light than with heat, allowing us to achieve intensity of flavor while still making elegant, balanced  wines.

The last two weeks of August were cold and foggy, threatening the delicate fruit at a particularly sensitive time. We were saved by the wind: after two weeks of damp weather, the skies turned sunny and dry on August 30th. A strong wind began to blow, and the vines dried out, ensuring the integrity of the fruit.

THE 2016 WINES

The 2016 Hirsch Pinot Noirs are moderate in alcohol, high in acidity, and graced with the long, supple tannins that are a hallmark of our wines. The lengthy growing season and cool, sunny weather imparted notable fruit character to the wines. They are concentrated but elegant: the fruit is vertical, rather than horizontal.

In these wines you will find the intensity of the 2015s with the lift and energy of the 2014s. They are fresh and high toned, with a core of fruit that is focused and balanced.

2016 was the first vintage made by our new winemaker, Anthony Filiberti. Trained as both a viticulturist and winemaker, he brings a wealth of farming and winemaking knowledge to Hirsch. Anthony’s past experience includes time at Rex Hill and Bergstrom Winery in Oregon, a stint at Williams-Selyem, and seven years as winemaker at Knez Winery in Anderson Valley. He is also a partner and winemaker at Anthill Farms.

In 2016, we produced the following wines at Hirsch Vineyards:

2016 HIRSCH VINEYARDS ESTATE CHARDONNAY

There are a mere 3.9 acres of Chardonnay vines planted at Hirsch. From this tiny planting, we produce one wine per year, our Hirsch Vineyards Estate Chardonnay. Purity, restraint, acidity and moderate use of new oak define this wine. Extremely low yields in 2015 produced a wine of notable concentration with a compelling core of fruit. This could be one of our most age-worthy Chardonnay to date. 

2016 HIRSCH VINEYARDS “SAN ANDREAS FAULT” ESTATE PINOT NOIR

The San Andreas Fault Estate Pinot Noir is the flagship wine from Hirsch, and the wine that represents the summation of our complex vineyard. 17 distinct farming blocks are included in this wine in 2015, more than any other wine made from the Hirsch Vineyard. 12.4% alc.
Produced in magnum and 750ml.

2016 HIRSCH VINEYARDS “WEST RIDGE” ESTATE PINOT NOIR

The West Ridge Estate Pinot Noir is a very limited production bottling from the cool Western Ridge of Hirsch. Heavy clay soils and leaf-roll virus act as dramatic stressors to the vines in part of the West Ridge, resulting in a wine of delicacy, ethereal fruit and soft tannins. It is a wine that seduces with perfume and mystery, rather than with power. 
Produced in magnum and 750ml.

2016 HIRSCH VINEYARDS “EAST RIDGE” ESTATE PINOT NOIR

The East Ridge is a topographically distinct micro-site within the Hirsch Vineyard, sloping steeply into our eastern canyon and thereby relatively protected from the Pacific Ocean. Two thirds of the vines on the East Ridge have phylloxera, a disease that attacks the roots and inhibits the vine’s uptake of nutrients. This results in some of the lowest yields at Hirsch, and requires extremely intensive and careful farming. The East Ridge Pinot Noir is a masculine and powerful expression of the Hirsch Vineyard, with fantastic structure, concentration and fruit. 
Produced in magnum and 750ml.

2016 HIRSCH VINEYARDS “RASCHEN RIDGE” ESTATE PINOT NOIR - Future Release

2016 HIRSCH VINEYARDS “BLOCK 8” ESTATE PINOT NOIR - Future Release

2016 HIRSCH VINEYARDS “RESERVE” ESTATE PINOT NOIR - Future Release

2016 HIRSCH VINEYARDS “THE OLD VINEYARD” ESTATE PINOT NOIR - Future Release