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Hitching Post Highliner Pinot Noir 2012

Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
  • WE92
  • WS90
0% ABV
  • WW91
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Winemaker Notes

"Highliner" is a barrel selection (70% new French oak) of maritime-cooled vineyards in Santa Barbara County, combining the forward fruit and richness of the Santa Maria Valley, with the earthiness and structure of fruit from the Sta. Rita Hills. This blend includes these vineyards & clones: Rio Vista 777, 115, Fiddlestix 115, 667 & 777, Bien Nacido, 115 and Pommard 4, and Julia's Pommard 4.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
The Hitching Post team of Frank Ostini and Gray Hartley hit a home run on this Highliner, with a nose that features fried shiitake mushrooms, violet and sizzling balsamic vinegar. It boasts an elegant mouthfeel, with very round and widely expressive fruit, characterized by orange peel, olallieberry and more violet.
Editors' Choice
WS 90
Wine Spectator
A deep, dense wine, the 2012 Pinot Noir Highliner is laced with pomegranate, dark raspberry, spice and plum. Still tightly-coiled and a bit reticent, the 2012 possesses gorgeous understated resonance in the classic, mid-weight style typical of Hitching Post Pinots. Highliner is a blend of fruit from Bien Nacido, Fiddlestix, Julia's and Cargasacchi.
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Hitching Post

Hitching Post

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Hitching Post, Santa Barbara, Central Coast, California
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Gray Hartley and Frank Ostini are two gentlemen from Santa Barbara Wine Country. Their mission is to put a slice of Santa Barbara in every glass and a piece of their soul in each bottle of Hitching Post Wine. They create traditional wines of balance and finesse that emphasize deep fruit, spice and earthiness.

Santa Barbara

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With a dry and mild climate cooled significantly by breezy ocean fog, Santa Barbara County is a grape-grower’s dream. Part of the larger Central Coast appellation, Santa Barbara is home to six separate AVAs—Santa Maria Valley, Santa Ynez Valley, and its four sub-AVAs Sta. Rita Hills, Ballard Canyon, Los Olivos District, and Happy Canyon. The conditions here provide an opportunity for nearly effortless production of high-quality cool-climate wines. This is also the site of the 2004 film Sideways, which caused Pinot Noir’s popularity to skyrocket and brought new acclaim to the region.

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are the stars of Santa Barbara, marked by trademark racy acidity, crisp Sauvignon Blanc, and savory Syrah. The region is also home to many young and enthusiastic winemakers eager to experiment with less common varieties including Chenin Blanc, Grüner Veltliner, Trousseau Gris, Gamay, and Cabernet Franc, making it an exciting area to watch.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most difficult yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is commonly referred to by winemakers as the “heartbreak grape.” However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. More reflective than most varieties of the land on which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality, and demands care in the vineyard and lots of attention in the winery. It is an important component of Champagne and the only variety permitted in red Burgundy. Pinot Noir enjoys immense popularity internationally, most notably in Oregon, California, and New Zealand.

In the Glass

Pinot Noir Is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry, and cherry. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and lively acidity. It ranges in body from very light to the heavier side of medium, typically landing somewhere in the middle—giving it extensive possibilities for food pairing. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount), it can develop hauntingly beautiful characteristics of fresh earth, autumn leaves, and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon, ocean trout, and tuna. Its mild mannered tannins don’t fight with spicy food, and give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry—chicken, quail, and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, it can even match with heavier fare. Pinot Noir is also very vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

Pinot Noir is dangerously drinkable, highly addictive, and has a bad habit of emptying the wallet. Look for affordable but still delicious examples from Germany (as Spätburgunder), Italy (as Pinot Nero), Chile, New Zealand, and France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions.

MSW30126773_2012 Item# 137106