The Hilt Pinot Noir 2016 Front Label
The Hilt Pinot Noir 2016 Front LabelThe Hilt Pinot Noir 2016  Front Bottle Shot

The Hilt Pinot Noir 2016

  • RP93
  • JD93
750ML / 14.1% ABV
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  • RP92
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750ML / 14.1% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Exotic and perfumed with an enticing combination of black, green and red notes. Black pepper, blackberry, Balaton cherry and purple sage. Absolutely jumps out of the glass. Black plum. Defined by velvet attack and silky texture that are the trademarks of the 2016 vintage. Powerful inner perfume mingles with powdered tannins. Focused and fresh. Moves towards a gentle collision between mouthwatering tannins, dense and dark fruit, bright acidity and lingering spice. The most stunning and complete expression to date of the potential of The Hilt's windy and wild estate vineyards.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The Hilt's 2016 Pinot Noir Sta. Rita Hills is excellent, wafting from the glass with an exciting bouquet of dark wild berry fruits, licorice, rich soil, rose hip and orange peel. On the palate, the wine is medium-bodied, bright and expansive, with velvety tannins and a crunchy core of primary fruit, its bright line of acidity carrying through to the mouthwatering finish.
JD 93
Jeb Dunnuck
The 2016 Pinot Noir Estate is the larger production red from this team, yet it certainly gives a good view into the quality coming from the Hilt wines. Black cherries, black raspberries, graphite, peppery herbs, and underbrush notes flow to a medium-bodied, supple, beautifully layered Pinot Noir that has ripe, present tannins, plenty of mid-palate flesh, and remarkable purity.
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The Hilt

The Hilt

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The Hilt , California
The Hilt champions pinot noir and chardonnay from the climate margins of California's coastal winegrowing regions—Santa Barbara County's Sta. Rita Hills and Santa Maria Valley AVA's prominent among them.The philosophy of "growing in the margins" propels winegrowers to employ practices that enable grapes to show full transparency of site—key to The Hilt's philosophy. Within this framework, The Hilt ferments two distinct styles of wine-The Old Guard and The Vanguard. The former relies on elegant clonal selections planted on poorer soils along with minimalist cellar methods to produce a wine with minerality and structure at its fore. The latter is sourced from more robust clones planted on slightly richer soils revealing a wine with balance, power and fruit driven qualities.

There are three things critical to the understanding of transparent varieties such as chardonnay and pinot noir: an understanding of terroir (dirt/climate foremost among them), an attuned sense of stylistic intention and deft touch in the cellar. Armed with a degree in Soil Science from the University of Vermont, The Hilt's winemaker, Matt Dees' approach is grounded in the vineyard first and foremost. His attention to the subtle differences found between chardonnay and pinot noir due to clonal selections and site informs the sides of The Hilt's philosophy. And last but not least, Matt's fine hand with the wines in the cellar allows the precise expression of both Old Guard characteristics and Vanguard elements to emerge.

When Matt's not exploring this duality in chardonnay and pinot noir, he can be found making the wines for its sister winery—Jonata.

As hinted at in the name, The Hilt goes "all the way" in its quest for expression and quality; nothing is held back in terms of effort.

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Sta. Rita Hills Wine

Santa Barbara, California

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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.

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CHMHLT3001016_2016 Item# 531098

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