Starting with the 2018 Chardonnay Estate, which comes all from the estate Hirsch Vineyard in the Fort Ross-Seaview appellation, it was barrel fermented and aged 10 months in barrel followed by two months in tank. It has a Burgundian bouquet of mulled stone fruits, brioche, green almonds, and chalky minerality. Just hitting 13% natural alcohol, it offers medium-bodied richness, a beautiful, layered texture, bright yet integrated acidity, and a great finish. Straight-up classy, it’s going to evolve positively for 2-4 years and keep for over a decade.
A wonderfully crafted chardonnay with lemon rind, cooked apple, lemon and lemon curd. Mineral and stone character throughout. It’s full-bodied, yet vertical and deep on the palate. Takes you down deep and energizes you. Extremely well done. Drink or hold.
This is among the best Hirsch chardonnays we’ve tasted, a wine with an ornate, almost baroque complexity woven out of fruit grown on the sandstone ridge along the San Andreas fault. It offers a completely different kind of complexity and depth of flavor than a great Burgundy - California coastal casual, yet precise. If you were to travel to David Hirsch’s remote vineyard and feel the blast of the Pacific winds against the ridge as you stand alongside the vines he planted in 1994 on a steep, rocky slope facing directly toward the sea, you might begin to sense the pure, terroir-driven nature of this wine. Along with fruit from those 2.5 acres, this wine includes Hirsch’s younger block of chardonnay, also west-facing, 1.4 acres planted in 2002 on a nearby sandstone hillside. The cool 2018 season produced a chardonnay that defies oxidation, still beautiful a week after it was first opened, destined to thrive for decades. (JG)
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