- Item #: i_215515Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93Vinous Media: 94Jeb Dunnuck: 93 PointsDierberg has been on a roll the past few years! Other wineries have sourced fruit from this prominent vineyard and received high scores for their superbly crafted wines. Dierberg still sells much of their fruit, but they have begun to keep some of the better sections for themselves. That being said, their own label hasn't skipped a beat, and is receiving the same high scores as their customers!
Located 13 miles from the Pacific Ocean in one of the coolest wine-growing corners of California's Central Coast, Dierberg Vineyard is on the western edge of Santa Barbara County's Santa Maria Valley appellation, which is world-renowned for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Their vineyard is planted to newer "Dijon" clones, as well as other "heritage clones"; heritage clones whose roots go back to the Burgundy area of France, offering a clonal diversity unlike almost any other Pinot vineyard in California.
JEB DUNNUCK 93 POINTS - "Moving to the reds, the 2016 Pinot Noir Dierberg Vineyard comes from the estate vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley and was 75% destemmed and aged 10 months in 25% new French oak. Ruby/purple-hued, with notes of raspberries, Asian spice, forest floor, and crushed flowers, it's medium-bodied and has a rounded, elegant texture, beautiful purity, and a great finish. It's a clean, classy, impeccably put together Pinot Noir to drink over the coming 7-8 years."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93 POINTS - "The 2016 Pinot Noir Dierberg Vineyard aged 14 months in 35% new French oak. It's medium ruby with wonderful, layered perfume: dried rose petals, crushed herbs, woodsmoke, cranberry sauce, warm earth, red cherry preserves and hints of raspberries and orange peel. Light to medium-bodied, it offers delicate, layered intensity, a sturdy frame of grainy tannins and seamlessly woven acidity, finishing very long. Lovely! 1,700 cases produced."
ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "The 2016 Pinot Noir Dierberg Vineyard is plush and inviting, with soft curves and plenty of immediacy. Dark red/purplish berry fruit, lavender, spice and rose petal all meld together in this attractive, fruity Pinot. Supple and forward, the 2016 will drink well pretty much upon release. The 25% whole clusters are not especially evident, at least not today."
- Item #: i_232240Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 93+Vinous Media: 92ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 93+ POINTS - "Blended of 88% Cabernet Franc, 10% Cabernet Sauvignon and 2% Petit Verdot, the deep garnet-purple colored 2014 El Alma de Jonata gives up notions of black plums, cassis and black cherries with suggestions of violets, cigar box, dusty soil and bay leaves. Medium-bodied, firm, taut and muscular in the mouth, it has ripe grainy tannins and plenty of coiled expression ready to spring with another two to three years in bottle."
ANTONIO GALLONI 92 POINTS - "The 2014 El Alma de Jonata is a powerful, dense wine that seems to reflect the intensity of the drought vintage. Chocolate, espresso and dark cherry make a strong first impression. Floral notes appear later, adding an attractive element of lift. Even so, this is an especially somber vintage for the Alma, Jonata's Cabernet Franc-based blend."
- Item #: i_232480Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94Jeb Dunnuck: 99 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 99 POINTS - "It's always a fun tasting with winemaker Matt Dees and his team, and they continue to keep this estate at the top of the hierarchy in Santa Barbara County. Located in Ballard Canyon AVA, they pull only from their estate vineyard (planted on incredibly sandy soils) and make a wide range of cuvées, from a red and white Bordeaux blends, to a 100% Petit Verdot, Sangiovese and a number of terrific Rhône blends. The common thread is incredible quality."
"Unquestionably the star of the show is the 2014 La Sangre de Jonata, and it's a more finesse driven, elegant, cool climate example of the cuvee than normal. Reminding me of an Hermitage from Bessards, it offers gorgeous notes of blackberries, cassis, leather, scorched earth and pepper. Possessing full-bodied richness, firm, polished tannin and a focused finish, it will be more approachable that most vintage of this cuvee, yet I still wouldn't touch bottles for 3-5 years. If you must drink a bottle over the coming couple of years, give it a 2-hour decant."
- Item #: i_232210Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 96Vinous Media: 97Jeb Dunnuck: 99 PointsJEB DUNNUCK 99 POINTS - "The 2016 La Sangre de Jonata (98% Syrah and 2% Viognier) is a beautiful follow on to the sensational 2015 and has a layered, multi-dimensional, massive profile. Blackcurrants, blackberries, lavender, bacon fat, and spring flower notes all flow to a seriously rich, powerful wine that stays light and graceful, with awesome tannin quality. It's another tour de force that reminds me of the 2007. It shuts down with extended air time (I followed this bottle for two days) and while it can certainly be enjoyed today, it won't hit prime time for another 4-6 years and should keep for two decades or more."
ANTONIO GALLONI 96+ POINTS - "The 2016 La Sangre de Jonata is a wine of real substance and depth. In 2016, the La Sangre is distinguished by its red fruit profile, freshness and vibrant, focused personality, all of which should allow it to age gracefully for a number of years. The 2016 is not as overt as some previous versions have been, but that is probably a very good thing for its longer term prospects. Time in the glass brings out the wine's underlying richness and pedigree."
- Item #: i_268240Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 94To understand the wines made by The Hilt, one might need to come visit the hard and harsh conditions under which they are born. The unobstructed, oceancooled, east-west valley known as Sta. Rita Hills is a difficult yet rewarding area to grow grapes. The Salsipuedes Ranch (which contains three of The Hilt's vineyards) is located in the northern-facing, closest-to-the-ocean, windswept quadrant. These sites are the worst places for a grape grower but the best ones for a winemaker. The ranch is a unique, large and sprawling property that offers a range of altitudes, aspects, soil typesº and microclimates, giving winemaker Matt Dees a patchwork of vineyard parcels from which to select grapes and create wines with distinctive styles. The property, however, does have some aspects that remain consistent: the land has poor soils that force vines to dig deep; there are powerful, whipping winds and a cold maritime climate that allow grapes on the property to ripen slowly and retain acidity despite the warm daytime sun; and the vines on the property are low in vigor, allowing them to produce low yields of concentrated, complex grapes. With these grapes, The Hilt’s Chardonnay earned a whopping 94 point score from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate!
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 94 POINTS - "Showing a touch of brioche in its ripe orchard fruits, toasted bread, sweet peach and white flower bouquet, the 2014 Chardonnay Vanguard is medium-bodied, fresh, layered and focused, with lively acidity and a pure, elegant style. Give bottles a year in the cellar and enjoy over the following 5-7 years."