At a recent blind tasting my longtime tasting group of 17 swishers and tasters lined up some amazing Pinot Noirs:
- Occidental “SKW” (97 Pt)
- Littorai “Wendling Block E” (97 Pt)
- DuMOL “Estate” (96 Pt)
- Radio-Coteau “Belay” (96 Pt)
- Paul Lato “Prospect” (96 Pt)
- Roar “Pisoni” (98 Pt)
- Pisoni “Estate” (97 Pt)
- Kosta Browne “Free James” (96 Pt)
- The HILT “Old Guard” (96 Pt)
The Hilt “Old Guard” received 11 out of 17 first place votes, 3 second and 3 third places votes.
Paul Lato 2 first, 5 second and 3 third place votes.
Roar Pisoni 3 first, 4 second and 5 third place votes.
So a clear winner among a pack of amazing, highly regarded and highly rated Pinot Noirs.
FYI: The Hilt is part of Jonata and Screaming Eagle owner Stan Kroenke’s wineries.
The Hilt 2016 “Old Guard” Pinot Noir “Estate”
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Jeb Dunnuck 96 Points: “The 2016 The Hilt Pinot Noir Old Guard offers more Bing cherry and even hints of blue fruits, and is concentrated, rich, and incredible pure. Smoked earth, leafy herbs, violets, and underbrush all emerge from this rockingly complex, concentrated, yet ethereal beauty. It has ample structure, yet it’s so beautifully interwoven into the wine that you hardly notice. It needs 3-4 years of bottle age and will cruise for 10-15 years or more.”
Galloni 96 Points: “Expressive floral, savory and mineral notes give the 2016 The Hilt Pinot Noir Old Guard much of its super-distinctive personality. Hints of crushed rocks, graphite, blueberry and lavender develop in the glass. Above all else, though, the 2016 is a wine of structural intensity and persistence. I loved it.”
Robert Parker 95 Points: “The 2016 The Hilt Pinot Noir Old Guard was my favorite of these wines from The Hilt, unfurling in the glass with a lovely bouquet of plum, rich soil, truffle, licorice and nori. On the palate, the wine is medium to full-bodied, its rich chassis of tannins cloaked in a youthfully primary but attractively sapid core of fruit, its mid-palate deep and layered, and its finish bright and sappy. The Old Guard derives from later-harvested parcels and was fermented with 40% whole clusters. Winemaker Matt Dees observes that, while the Vanguard emphasizes texture, the Old Guard emphasizes structure. 430 cases were produced.”
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