2020 Hirsch Vineyards Chardonnay, Sonoma Coast, California, USA
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ABOUT THIS WINE
As with all the wines from Hirsch, the purpose of this Chardonnay is to bring you a transparent expression of this unique vineyard site. Through their farming and winemaking, they strive to bring the acidity and minerality of the site forward, with fruit and oak playing a secondary role. With less than 4 acres of Chardonnay vines, production is very limited, and 100% of the fruit is kept for the Estate.
Their first Chardonnay vineyard was planted in 1994. That year, David Hirsch prepared 2.5 acres for planting on a rocky, 40% slope above his house. He was enamored with Barolo and had the crazy idea to put in Nebbiolo. Burt Williams, who had begun buying Hirsch's Pinot Noir fruit for his winery Williams Selyem, told David he was nuts and should plant Chardonnay instead. Thus the old Chardonnay vineyard was born. The cuttings came from Joe Rochioli. Williams Selyem made the wine from 1997 to 2000; Kistler took the fruit through 2005. In 2002 David planted an additional 1.4 acres of Chardonnay on a sandstone hill in field 12, just over the hill from the old chardonnay vineyard. Together these two tiny plantings comprise their Estate Chardonnay, produced since 2006.
ABOUT THIS PRODUCER
Perched on a ridge overlooking the Pacific Ocean at Fort Ross, Hirsch Vineyards is the birth ground of great pinot noir on the extreme Sonoma Coast. David Hirsch founded the vineyard in 1980 to grow fruit and make site-specific wine. From the start all efforts have been on the growing of fruit that makes wines profoundly characteristic of the site vintage after vintage.
The wines from Hirsch Vineyards give the passionate drinker an experience of the clash of opposites meeting in Nature and Life: the edge of the continent washed by the sea; the grinding of the North American and Pacific plates along the San Andreas Fault; the wet winters and dry summers caused by the ocean and desert climates; the dripping rainforest and parched pastures; the contact and intermingling of cultures: Native American, Mexican, Russian, European; the change in the rural economy from logging and ranching to winegrowing.
In the wines of Hirsch Vineyards you find a natural balance and consistency in the harmonious resolution of these opposites. This complex, unique site produces fruit and wines of unusual acidity and balance with a vintage-specific concentration of pinot noir or chardonnay fruit. These are wines to be enjoyed now or laid down for future consumption.