While I have been working with this grape for more than 20 years, we only have bottlings under our own label since 1999. The ‘Big Brother’ and ‘Little Sister’ wines should be enjoyed before too many more years’ time. I think the material I work with now from Russian River Valley is much more structured and age-worthy. The 1999 Hirsch Vineyard ‘Diaphanous’ has never ceased to surprise me with its longevity, despite its relative delicacy and transparency as a youthful wine. Every year, I have tried to pull out a few more bottles for the library offering with great pain and suffering as I hate to part with them. 2000 was a more structured vintage for our Pinot Noirs which has allowed them to follow a more predictable course over time. The Hirsch bottling from this vintage has not changed much in recent memory.

2001 and 2002 are a bit more relaxed wines, with the 2002 vintage showing a little more youth (duh) and juiciness that has been there all along. The Russian River Valley wines are in a golden spot now. No need to wait, yet no hurry. The Fort Ross wines are running a longer race, for sure. The 2002 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir (actually all from Fort Ross as well) reminds me of the 1999 Hirsch with a bit more up front acidity and ‘snap’ to it. Its lighter color might make one think it lacks concentration, but it is Pinot Noir, after all. Color does not always correlate with concentration. 2003 Fort Ross ‘High Slopes’ is beginning to open up (a little). The 2004 ‘High Slopes’ has so much potential, it would be infanticide to open that if there was something else more developed on hand.


Russian River Valley
  • 2000 — released March 2002
  • 2001 — released March 2003
  • 2002 — released July 2004
  • 2003 — released October 2005
  • 2004 — released October 2006
  • 2005 — released March 2008
  • 2006 — released March 2009
  • 2007 — released October 2009
  • 2008 — released July 2011
  • 2009 — released March 2012
  • 2010 — released July 2013
  • 2011 — released October 2014
  • 2012 — released October 2015

Sonoma County
  • 2003 — released July 2005
  • 2004 — released July 2006
  • 2005 — released October 2007
  • 2006 — released July 2008
  • 2007 — released July 2009
  • 2008 — released October 2010
  • 2009 — released October 2011
  • 2010 — released March 2013
  • 2011 — released July 2014
  • 2012 — released July 2015
  • 2013 — released July 2016

‘Big Brother’ — Sonoma Coast
  • 1999 — released March 2001
  • 2006 — released October 2008
  • 2007 — released March 2010
  • 2009 — released November 2012
  • 2010 — released November 2013
  • 2011 — released July 2015
  • 2012 — released July 2016

Hallberg Vineyard — Green Valley
  • 2004 — released July 2009
  • 2006 — released July 2009
  • 2007 — released February 2010
  • 2010 — released October 2014
  • 2011 — released October 2015

King Family Vineyard — Russian River Valley
  • 2010 — released March 2014
  • 2012 — released April 2016

Platt Vineyard — Sonoma Coast
  • 2007 — released July 2010
  • 2008 — released November 2011
  • 2009 — released July 2012
  • 2010 — released July 2014
  • 2011 — released April 2015
  • 2012 — released April 2016

‘Little Sister’ — Sonoma Coast
  • 1999 — released March 2001

Black Lightnin’ — Sonoma Coast
  • 2008 — released April 2011

Bliss Vineyard — Russian River Valley
  • 2005 — released March 2008

Fort Ross Vineyard — Sonoma Coast
  • 2001 — released July 2003
  • 2002 — released October 2004

Fort Ross Vineyard ‘High Slopes’ — Sonoma Coast
  • 2002 — released March 2005
  • 2003 — released March 2006
  • 2004 — released July 2007

Fort Ross Vineyard ‘Reserve’ — Sonoma Coast
  • 2000 — released June 2003
  • 2001 — released March 2004

Helfer Vineyard — Sonoma County
  • 2000 — released July 2002

Hirsch Vineyard — Sonoma Coast
  • 1999 — released July 2001
  • 2000 — released July 2002

‘Laguna’ — Russian River Valley
  • 2002 — released July 2004

Sonoma Coast
  • 1999 — released July 2001
  • 2001 — released July 2003
  • 2002 — released July 2004