The Hilt The Old Guard Chardonnay 2014  Front Label
The Hilt The Old Guard Chardonnay 2014  Front LabelThe Hilt The Old Guard Chardonnay 2014  Front Bottle Shot

The Hilt The Old Guard Chardonnay 2014

  • RP93
750ML / 13% ABV
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750ML / 13% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Baking spice, dough and luscious notes of ripe tropical fruit. Pineapple and guava and passion fruit. Classic Hilt notes of lemon curd, fresh-pressed olive oil and a perfumed white flowers. Sourced from sun-drenched and slightly warmer sites planted with Dijon clones and fermented in neutral French oak barrels to focus on the natural volume and weight of the fruit. Wonderful fruit richness and purity through the finish. Big push of fruit, swept away gracefully by salty andelectric acidity. Nothing to add or take away. Simultaneously mouthwatering andrefreshing. Expansive and generous on the palate, then crystallizes into salinity,vibrant freshness and mouthwatering acidity. Such a thrill! Expands and contracts as a living and breathing wine.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Sporting a slightly lighter color than the Vanguard release, the 2014 Chardonnay Old Guard has that raw Chardonnay fruit profile of lemon curd, apple blossom, citrus and hints of crushed rock. Medium-bodied, lively and bracing on the palate, with bright acidity, it's a downright classy and elegant chardonnay that should be better in another 2-4 years and have 10-15 years of evolution. This cuvee comes from the Sanford & Benedict, Radian and Solomon Hills vineyards.
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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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Santa Barbara Wine

Central Coast, California

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With a dry and mild climate cooled significantly by moist ocean fog and breezes, Santa Barbara County is a grape-grower’s dream. Part of the larger Central Coast appellation, Santa Barbara is home to Santa Maria Valley and Santa Ynez Valley. 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, producing wines marked by racy acidity. Crisp Sauvignon Blanc and savory Syrah are also important. The region is 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.

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While it tends to flourish in most environments, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. California produces both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines. Somm Secret—The Burgundian subregion of Chablis, while typically using older oak barrels, produces a bright style similar to the unoaked style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy Chablis.

SOU477744_2014 Item# 524382

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