- Item #: i_215515Bottle Size: 750mlVinous Media: 94Jeb Dunnuck: 92 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.
ANTONIO GALLONI 94 POINTS - "The 2015 Pinot Noir Dierberg Vineyard is a real standout. Plush, dark and expressive, the Dierberg is an explosive wine that shows this Santa Maria site off at its best. Floral and spiced notes wrap around a core of intense inky blue/purplish fruit. Time in the glass brings out a more delicate side. There is just so much to admire in the 2015."
JEB DUNNUCK 92 POINTS - "The 2015 Pinot Noir Dierberg Vineyard comes from the estate vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley and was aged 14 months in 25% new French oak. Medium ruby-colored, with notes of cherries, mulberries, forest floor, and spice, it's silky, lightly textured, and elegant on the palate, with the charming nature of the vintage balanced nicely by plenty of tannins and acidity."
- 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_276540Bottle Size: 750mlWine Advocate: 92Vinous Media: 93ANTONIO GALLONI 93 POINTS - "Few people are as passionate about Ballard Canyon as Peter Stolpman is. As President of the Ballard Canyon Winegrowers' Alliance, Stolpman is focused on bringing producers together to promote the area. To be sure, Ballard Canyon is a very distinctive region, especially for Syrah, so it will be interesting to see how things develop here in the coming years. As for his own wines, Stolpman's A-list team of winemaker Sashi Moorman and vineyard guru Ruben Solorzano keeps ratcheting up the quality level at the estate. In addition to these wines, I also tasted a few selections from the estate's library, including the 2004 Roussanne L'Avion, Syrah Estate and Syrah Angeli. Although those wines have aged pretty nicely, they also show just how far Stolpman has come in the last few years, especially with regards to cooperage. Simply put, these wines have never been better.
"Explosive and perfumed to the core, the 2012 Syrah Originals captivates all the sense with exuberant perfume and super-intense fruit, all with plenty of underlying structure. Cloves, lavender, mint and an array of spices inform the fragrant, highly expressive finish. The 60% whole clusters are impeccably balanced. This is a gorgeous showing from Stolpman."
ROBERT PARKER'S WINE ADVOCATE 92 POINTS - 'In the same ballpark, the 2012 Angeli is 100% Syrah that comes from a single block of own rooted vines. It too is medium to full-bodied, rich and textured, with pretty violets, purple fruits, spring flowers and edgy minerality. Seeing 80% whole clusters and 18 months in puncheons, it has bright acidity and clean, nicely focused feel. It is another outstanding Syrah that will evolve for a decade."
- 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."