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2008 Hilliard Bruce Pinot Noir Moon, Sta. Rita Hills

While my wife was in the kitchen this evening getting ready to plate the curry-dusted chicken I came across a bottle in a box of samples I recently received. Determined not to have another Crystal Geyser Grapefruit Juice Squeeze (they are quite addictive), and thinking I was going to do some tasting later on whatever I opened, I decided to pop one of the Pinot Noir with dinner. What a pleasant surprise.

The wine is called Hilliard Bruce (a new producer for me), from Sta. Rita Hills. After looking at the back label I noticed the wine was Estate-grown, and production was a mere 178 cases. Still, the front label didn’t do much to impress me. My mind was changed when I had the wine in the glass. Doing some background research on the winery website, I learned the consulting winemaker is Paul Lato, one of the top Pinot producers in the region under his own label. The certified sustainable vineyard is planted to a small parcel of Chardonnay with the majority of the acreage growing six clones of Pinot Noir, including Calera, Pommard and four Dijon clones.

2008 Hilliard Bruce Pinot Noir Moon Sta. Rita Hills; $80.00 DW 93

 14.5% alcohol, 178 cases produced

A: The color is a translucent ruby, garnet color and the nose delivers hints of wild, earthy Pommard clone that I admire in wines from this region. It is supported by graphite, cedary cherry, concentrated blueberry and wafts of herb.

P: It shows a very straightforward palate entry with full, polished black cherry and small plum ripeness on the front yet reveals good structure underneath with a restrained, even delicate acid profile all the way to the dusty, red-fruit, and licorice finish. 

I: Apart from the rather complacent label, this wine is sure to gain eager fans. It is deceptively easy to drink!

This is certainly a brand i would recommend learning more about. Go to their website

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