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Hilliard Bruce Sun Pinot Noir 2013

Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
  • RP93
14% ABV
  • RP92
  • WE92
  • RP91
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14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The 2013 Sun is comprised of Dijon clones, 667, 777 & 115, from two south-facing parcels with maximum sun exposure. Sandy loam soil lends drive and power, as it jumps from the glass with exuberant dark red and grounded black fruit. Sun always showcases the heart of Hilliard Bruce vineyard. Aged 18 months in 20% new French oak barrels.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2013 Pinot Noir Sun excels for its vibrant, lively and energetic personality. Showing more strawberry, spring flowers, sappy underbrush and rose petal, it has a full, layered mid-palate, medium-bodied richness and a great core of sweet fruit that comes out on the finish. Completely destemmed and aged 18 months in 30% new French oak, from a mix of clones, this is a pretty Pinot Noir from California that will have a decade or more of overall longevity.
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Hilliard Bruce

Hilliard Bruce

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Hilliard Bruce, Sta. Rita Hills, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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John and Christine left their home in Texas in 2002, after purchasing the 101-acre Hilliard Bruce ranch in the Sta. Rita Hills. Christine wanted a ranch where she could expand her business of breeding Arabian horses, and John was open to new adventures after surviving two life-threatening illnesses. With a love of wine and an eye for precision and design, they planted 21-acres to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, using their own background as gardeners, along with key advice from some of the industry’s best viticulturalists. To further their winemaking experience, they took courses at UC Davis Extension Program, Allan Hancock Viticulture and Enology Program, and the Grayson County College Viticulture and Enology Program.
Today John and Christine are intimately involved with every step of running Hilliard Bruce Vineyard, from viticulture and winemaking to sales. Christine heads Hilliard Bruce’s Chardonnay production, while John focuses on several Pinot Noir bottlings.

Sta. Rita Hills

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A superior source of California Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, Sta. Rita Hills is the coolest, westernmost sub-region of the larger Santa Ynez Valley appellation within Santa Barbara County. This relatively new AVA is unquestionably one to keep an eye on.

The climate of Sta. Rita Hills is a natural match for Chardonnay and Pinot noir, thanks to the crisp ocean breezes and well-drained, limestone-rich calcareous soil. Here, grapes ripen just enough, while retaining brisk acidity and harmonious balance.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

In the Glass

Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Villages or Cru level wines.

RAE260014_2013 Item# 298325