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Vinous Score: 96
Jeb Dunnuck Score: 95
Welcome to what is the best Pinot Noir from this producer we have ever tasted! The Hilt is based in the cool, wind-swept Sta. Rita Hills appellation of Santa Barbara County, and focuses on top notch Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs. It's also worth mentioning that the property is owned by Stan Kroenke, who also owns Screaming Eagle in Napa Valley. While these two properties share the same owner and the same dedication to world-class wines, they are completely separate entities, with their own winemakers, vineyard managers, and winemaking facilities.

Their Bentrock Vineyard is situated over 500 feet above sea level, and the vines flow gently down the hillsides, gathering ample sunlight yet ripening slowly because of altitude and moderate cooling breezes. The combination of clay, shale, and diatomaceous earth in the soils bring complexity and nuance to the wines. Critic Antonio Galloni called this wine "magical" and rated it 96 points, and only 240 cases were produced!

ANTONIO GALLONI 96 POINTS - "The 2018 Pinot Noir Bentrock is a magical wine. Deep and pliant, with striking energy, the Bentrock is wonderfully complete from the very first taste. It is at once taut and yet not at all austere, with tremendous depth and density, and magnificent balance. Chalk, blood orange, mint, rose petal and sweet red berry fruit are some of the many notes that build into a finish marked by crystalline purity."

JEB DUNNUCK 95 POINTS - "Notes of bright black cherry and black raspberry fruits, violets, spice box, and a touch of forest floor all emerge from the 2018 Pinot Noir Bentrock Vineyard. Medium-bodied, it has a sensational, elegant, seamless texture, beautiful purity of fruit, a distinct sense of minerality, and a great finish. While approachable today, it's going to benefit from just short-term cellaring and drink fabulously well for 7-8 years or more."
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