2013 Hilliard Bruce Pinot Noir 'Earth'
by JJ Buckley Fine Wines
On Sale $34.94 (reg. $44.94)
"Hilliard Bruce is one of the most exciting and dynamic young wineries in California today...Readers who can find these wines should not hesitate, as they are magnificent." - Antonio Galloni
Although Hilliard Bruce may be a relative newcomer, they’ve hit the ground running, garnering a sterling reputation for quality wines that "emphasize elegance and balance rather than mass and power" (Vinous) and earning high praise along the way. Already recognized “as one of the top properties in the Sta. Rita Hills” (Galloni), they make “classy wines across the board” that are “highly recommended" (Wine Advocate).
The appropriately titled ‘Earth’ Pinot Noir is done in a ‘Santa Rita Hills by way of Pommard’ type of style, with heft and power of Burgundian proportions. What’s the secret? The answer here is that Greg Brewer (of Brewer-Clifton and Melville) consults on this wine. Brewer practically wrote the book on the Santa Rita Hills AVA (or at least the map) and has a unique understanding of what the Santa Barbara area can offer particularly when working with one of the best new properties in the area. Brewer was brought on by owners John Hilliard and Christine Bruce, both certified Master Gardeners, who have made their 100 acre ranch a jewel of the Santa Rita Hills.
‘Earth’ is made from the first fruit off the Hilliard Bruce Ranch and the quality of the material is more than able to support the time it spends in French oak, which rounds out its spicy, dark fruited profile. 2013 is proving to be a "a vintage absolutely loaded with outstanding wines" from the Santa Barbara region, and this Pinot is already delivering a complex and thoroughly enjoyable drinking experience. We fell in love with this low-production gem from these ambitious newcomers, and we recommend grabbing what you can as quantities are limited. Cheers!