2021 Hirsch 'East Ridge' Estate Pinot Noir
The East Ridge is one of the oldest and most unique sections of the Hirsch Vineyard. David Hirsch began planning the East Ridge in 1990 (read the complete history here). Beginning at an elevation of 1,600 feet, it slopes steeply into the eastern canyon. Fog gathers in the canyon at night, and during the day, cool ocean breezes circulate amongst the vines. However it is often the first place the fog burns off in the morning, making it a relatively warmer site.
Eighty percent of the old vines on the East Ridge are stricken with phylloxera, resulting in some of the lowest yields at Hirsch, and requiring intensive and meticulous vine-by-vine farming. The low yields contribute to a notable concentration of fruit in the East Ridge Pinot Noir. The phylloxera also devigorates the vines, inhibiting photosynthesis and slowing sugar accumulation. This combination of low vigor and low yields results in a wine of dark-fruited concentration tempered by elegance and naturally low alcohol. It is a masculine and structured expression of the Hirsch Vineyard, with fantastic concentration and energy
The 2021 Hirsch East Ridge Estate Pinot Noir is a selection of the very best barrels from the finest and most expressive blocks on the East Ridge. Years of intense biodynamic soil care have helped restore vigor and energy to the old vines. In addition, the newer plantings on the East Ridge are now coming up on twenty years of age, and they are able to play a larger role in the blend. The result is wines of greater ripeness than in prior years, complimented by the dark fruit and notable tannins that characterize the East Ridge Pinot Noir.
TASTING NOTES: on the nose, a first impression of powerful dark fruit, although the wine is still quite shy at this young age. Notes of sage, orange zest, white flowers, polished mahogany, raspberries and fresh pomegranate emerge with air. On the palate, the fruit is dense and savory, with a silky texture that envelopes the tannins, resulting in a wine of elegant power and tremendous potential.
SERVICE NOTES: Always one of our most tannic wines, the 2021 East Ridge will need to unwind in order to show its fullest potential. We recommend holding for at least two years before drinking.