2014 Hilt Chardonnay Old Guard
by JJ Buckley Fine Wines
On Sale $53.94 (reg. $59.94)
While Napa may be king in Northern California, the shakeup continues as the Sta Rita Hills stakes its reputation as the finest source of wine in the South. So, no surprise that Screaming Eagle owner Stan Kroenke staked his own claim in the AVA with top end wineries Jonata and The Hilt. Kroenke enlisted the help of top winemaker Matt Dees, who came to fame at Kroenke’s other project, Jonata, in Santa Barbara County. While Jonata’s focus is on high end Bordeaux and Rhone varietal wines, The Hilt was born to tackle what the Sta Rita Hills does best, Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, from some of the finest coastal vineyards.
This ‘Old Guard’ Chardonnay is a powerhouse of old-world style, allowing the natural weight and depth of the fruit to shine through here. The result is a wine of great finesse and 10+ years of ageability. Sourced from vineyards like Sanford & Benedict and Solomon Hills, this is raw old vine Chardonnay with “crystalline purity and overall finesse” according Galloni.
Matt Dees is being called “one of the best winemakers in California" by the Wine Advocate, and you owe it to yourself to track his remarkable progress with this old-world styled Chardonnay, but you'll want to act quickly only a mere 367 cases were made of this outstanding cuvee. Lovers of high-quality white Burgundy will no doubt recognize the extraordinary relative value (and style) here as well and will want to take advantage. Cheers!