Jasmine Hirsch of Hirsch Vineyards talks about two wines from a small area… (Courtesy of Jasmine Hirsch…)
Jasmine Hirsch is officially director of sales and marketing at Hirsch Vineyards, the Sonoma Coast winery founded by her father, David, who bought the property in 1978.
"I was born in 1979, so I’ve been around the vineyard my whole life," she said.
She didn’t run off to UC Davis to study winemaking, though. She went to the University of Pennsylvania, where she majored in Asian Studies with a concentration in Japanese. Eventually, she came back to wine.
When I asked her what had caught her attention lately, she couldn’t confine her enthusiasm to just one wine, but wanted to talk about two she tried recently. Both, as it turns out, from the same small area of the Loire Valley in France called Brézé, usually sold under the Saumur appellation.
“Brézé doesn’t have its own appellation,” she says, “but it should because the wines are so different from Saumur. The vineyards are at a high elevation relative to the rest of the appellation and the soil is limestone.
"The first wine, the 2010 Domaine Guiberteau “Clos de Guichaux” Saumur, is 100% Chenin Blanc, which is, of course, the classic white wine of Loire Valley. I’ve been on a Chenin Blanc kick lately, drinking lots of Sauvennière. The Clos de Guichaux has an intensity and weight combined with elegance and delicacy that blew my mind. It’s just such a self-contained and magical wine. I just loved it.” (However, the domaine made less than 600 cases of it, so the distribution is limited, but available.)
"That same day I tasted a remarkable sparkling rosé from Château de Brézé technically labeled Crémant de Loire. It’s actually a blend of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, but you would never think that it’s a Cab. It’s a beautiful dark rosé, so delicate and complex — a really fine wine. I fell in love with it when I had it by the glass at Wolfgang Puck at Hotel Bel-Air."
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