The Hilt, Santa Rita Hills, The Vanguard, PInot Noir 2012
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By US 101
93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2012 Pinot Noir Vanguard comes mostly from the Sanford & Benedict Vineyard, yet has 15% of the blend coming from Bien Nacido. Aged in 45% new French oak, it’s a rich, muscular effort that has lots of underbrush and herbs to go with toast, spice, black raspberry and currant-styled fruit. This concentrated, yet layered and seamless beauty will drink well for over a decade. One of the top Chardonnay and Pinot Noir producers in Santa Barbara County, The Hilt is managed by the team at Jonata, with up-and-coming superstar winemaker Matt Dees making the wines. They two Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs in each vintage, a younger vine cuvee, the Vanguard, and an old vine cuvee, the Old Guard. Both are superb and if you have any interest in Pinot Noir or Chardonnay, you need to check out these wines!