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THE HILT PINOT NOIR "OLD GUARD", STA. RITA HILLS 2015
Antonio Galloni - Vinous
The Hilt's 2015 Pinot Noir Old Guard is a big, powerful wine that won't be ready to drink for at least a few years. Ample and dramatic in build, the 2015 exudes richness. A host of red-toned fruit, sage, mint and rose petal notes get an extra kick of aromatic lift from the whole clusters. The 2015 finishes with great focus and intensity especially for the year. This is a remarkable wine in every way. The 2015 is mostly Sanford & Benedict, with some fruit from Radian.
Pale to medium ruby-purple in color, the 2015 Pinot Noir Old Guard has pronounced black cherries, black raspberries and anise on the nose, with a stems-inspired, herbal undercurrent, lending plenty of spice box and savory notions. Medium-bodied and led by a structure of chewy tannins and lively acidity, it has a great core of earthy/savory layers and finishes on a peppery note.
There's a damp-forest-floor quality of pine needles, turned earth, moss and exotic wood smoke to the nose of this bottling, which gives depth to the black-raspberry and caramel aromas. A zippy acidity carries from the front to back of the sip, where more forest-like flavors of juniper and bay leaf meet with hickory and boysenberry. The firm structure ensures ageability.
NVWE Notes: Loaded with red fruits and sweet-natured spice, this is a very impressive young Pinot. The aromas and the flavors that closely mirror the nose are a satisfying melange of red raspberry, pomegranate, red currant, strawberry, red plum, whortleberry, cherry pit, red apple skin, red rose, pink peppercorn, orange peel tea, cardamom, sandalwood, ginger, white pepper and woodsy spice. The flavors are lingering, well-evolved and substantial enough for service with dark fatty roasts and flavorful stews right now, but this wine’s ultimate worth will be revealed after several more years of development. 470 cases produced.