2014 Pinot Noir
This garnet colored wine is playful yet intense. Its aromatics begin with cranberry, crushed wet rocks and vanilla and then deepen into raspberry and cherry cola. This wine makes a lasting impression on the mid-palate with complex round tannins and medium bright acidity. It harmonizes on your palate with a pronounced spiciness of tobacco, sassafras, dried herbs and bramble. A soft velvety texture highlights characters of earth, violets and pomegranates. The cool growing region and marine influence allow the elegance of this wine to shine and for the lengthy finish to remain with you.
Central Coast Wine Competition, June 2017 – Gold
Wine Enthusiast, November 2017 – 89 Points
Terriorist.com, July 2017 – 93 Points
Robert Parker Wine Advocate, September 2017 – 93+ Points
Jeb Dunnuck, August 2017 – 89 Points
Estate Oak Club $46.75/bottle Reserve Oak Club $44.00/bottle
The vintage of 2014 brought a third year in a row of excellent wines. We saw a shorter growing season, with one of the earliest harvests on record. This was due to a mild winter, early budbreak, and a mild summer that led to picking three weeks earlier than last year. Some of the late ripeners came in earlier than expected which led to a compressed harvest towards the end of picking. Overall we saw a little more rainfall than in 2013, but it still proved to be a record-breaking drought year. We also saw a slightly above average crop size in most of the varietals, which led to higher juice yields. For wine quality, this translates to good acidity due to the early pick, great complexity and structure in balance with a lower alcohol.
Hilliard Bruce Vineyard is located on the cool slopes near the western boundary of the Santa Rita Hills appellation. It is comprised of 15.7 acres of Pinot Noir and 5.3 acres of Chardonnay. The climate is defined by a cool and windy maritime influence, allowing the vines an extended growing season. The soil is comprised of sandy silt, which allows for fast drainage and ultimately, more complex flavors. The vineyard prides itself in being Sustainable in Practice (SIP), while maintaining the vineyard’s health and productivity.
The smooth, velvety tannins and elegant aromatic profile of this Pinot Noir from Sta. Rita Hills lends itself to many dishes ranging from Coq au Vin to spiced duck with confit ragu. The delicacy in Pinot Noir also pairs fantastically with oven roasted salmon and grilled trout with bacon and green beans. The earthy characters in this wine also make it match well with any dishes highlighting mushrooms and truffle oils.