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A sister winery to Jonata producing Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from vineyards in the Sta. Rita Hills and Santa Maria Valley and replacing its predecessor, La Poesia de Jonata. Two different types of wine are offered: Old Guard wines are from older vine selections and cellar methods that give a nod to the Old World with acid and structure at the fore, and Vanguard wines are a testimony to the full textural elements common in New World sites. The name, The Hilt, refers to wines that go all the way in a quest for expression and quality. The wines carry a Santa Barbara County designation.
Winemaker Matt Dees has a degree in Soil Science from the University of Vermont and his approach is grounded in the vineyard first. He is also the winemaker for Jonata. The inaugural vintage was 2008.
The wines are sold through a mailing list and the winery's online boutique.
2011 the HILT The Vanguard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir
14.1% alc., 980 cases, $45. Aged in 45% new and 55% neutral French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. Very shy nose which reveals little over extended time in the glass. When checked the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle, the wine was much more aromatic with scents of cherry, spice, tobacco and savory herbs. The wine’s enjoyable entry features black cherry, raspberry, boysenberry, spice, petrol and oak char flavors, all persisting through a finish that displays good intensity and acidic verve. Again, the flavors are more generous and appealing the following day. Decant or cellar at this time. Score: 90. Reviewed April 20, 2015 ARTICLE »