Vineyard: Hilliard Bruce

AppellationSta. Rita Hills
Story21 acres planted on 101 acres starting in 2004. Located off Highway 246 near well known vineyards such as Clos Pepe, Babcock, Melville, Huber, Kessler Haak, Gypsy Canyon, and directly across 246 from Dos Hermanas Vineyard (Ashley's). 17.5 acres of Pinot Noir: Calera, Pommard, 115, 667, 777 and 828. 3.5 acres of Chardonnay: 76, 96. Vertical shoot positioned, irrigated, Certified Sustainable by SIP, 2,420 vines per acre, yields less than 2 tons per acre. Soil is sandy silt, very fast draining, low in organic matter. Solar powered. Compost made on site.
VarietiesChardonnay, Pinot Noir

Wineries sourcing from this vineyard

Reviewed wines produced from this vineyard

2012 Paul Lato “Happiness” Hilliard Bruce Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $70. Unfiltered. · Dark reddish purple color with a garnet rim in the glass. Shy, but pleasant aromas of dark stone and berry fruits. Mid+ weight fruit core of blackberry, black grape and black currant flavors. A bit rustic, beefy and earthy, with modest tannins and some finishing length. The most robust and darkest fruited of the Paul Lato wines tasted on this day. Score: 91. Reviewed August 25, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Hilliard Bruce Earth Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

13.75% alc., 240 cases, $45. Clones “828” and 777. Aged 18 months in 75% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish purple color in the glass. Expressive nose that becomes more appealing over time in the glass. Aromas and flavors of dark red cherries and blueberries with an earthy tone and hints of toasty oak and sassafras. Lightest in weight of the three 2011 Pinot Noirs, but equally flavorful with plenty of bright Sta. Rita Hills acidity in the background. The wine displays impeccable balance and the evolution over time in the glass suggests age ability. Score: 91. Reviewed January 20, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Hilliard Bruce Sta. Rita Hills Chardonnay

14.3% alc., 475 cases, $45. Clones are 76 and 96. Aged 16 months in 30% new French oak barrels. · Light golden yellow and clear in the glass. Vibrant aromas of lemon, lime and walnut lead to a discreetly concentrated core of lemon curd, yellow peach and subtle butterscotch flavors. Nice fullness on the palate with a slightly creamy texture, and a long, soprano finish. I like this wine for its restraint and seamless quality. Score: 90. Reviewed January 20, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Hilliard Bruce Sky Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

13.57% alc., 420 cases, $55. Clones include Calera, Pommard, 115, 667 and 777. Aged 18 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The aromas of fresh black raspberry, spice and subtle oak really draw you into the glass. There is plenty of sappy fruit concentration like the Sun, but there is more vibrant acidity and resulting juiciness. The core of darker berry and stone fruits is flatout delicious and very plush on the palate. The finish is strikingly endowed offering waves of bright fruit returning over and over for an encore. This beauty blurs the line between wine and heaven. Score: 94. Reviewed January 20, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Hilliard Bruce Sun Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 529 cases, $55. Clones include Calera, Pommard, 115, 667 and 777. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The aromas arrive over time in the glass, offering a blend of boysenberry jam, plum, black grapes and spice. The sappy mid weight core of black cherry and dark berry is strikingly vivid and pure, set off by an appealing earthiness. Everything is in balance with modest tannins and bright acidity. The fruit-driven finish is noticeably long and intense. This is highly enjoyable juice. Score: 92. Reviewed January 20, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Hilliard Bruce Sun Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., 600 cases, $55. Can’t get Paul Lato Wines? Try Hilliard Bruce where Paul is the consulting winemaker. The wines are not identical to Paul’s but his imprint is evident. Hilliard Bruce planted 21 acres of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay on 101 acres starting in 2004. The vineyards are Certified Sustainable and are located off highway 246 near Clos Pepe and directly across 246 from Dos Hermanas Vineyard (formerly Ashley’s). Aged in 50% new French oak barrels for 16 months. · This wine is beautifully composed offering enticing aromas of ripe black cherries, dark berries and cardamom spice, and luscious flavors of the same fruits with added notes of plum, cola and vanilla. Moderately rich with tannins that threaten to take over now but tend to mellow over time in the glass. The silky texture is very seductive. This wine is still a bit closed and will benefit from a few more years in the cellar. Very good. Reviewed October 26, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Paul Lato “Alegria” Hilliard-Bruce Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 75 cases, $70. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Very expressive nose, offering hi-tone aromas of berry tart, dried rose petals, malt and vanilla. Moderately flush with well-ripened dark red and black berries including ollaliberries, with an accent of new oak and an earthy underbody. Smooth and seamless and quite enticing, although not quite as expressive as the other wines in this vintage. Very good. Reviewed October 2, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Dragonette Cellars Hilliard-Bruce Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., 100 cases, $48. The Hilliard-Bruce Vineyard is located at the western edge of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA, one-half mile west of Clos Pepe, and is the first vineyard to be planted in the AVA with close spacing. Planting began in 2005. Clones are 115 and 777. 100% de-stemmed, 7-day cold soak, native and commercial yeast fermentation, aged for 15 months in 25% new French oak barrels, bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Darker cherry and berry fruit is nicely spiced and encased in grainy tannins giving a mouth feel with textural interest. A delicious, seductive wine that is surprisingly well-raised despite the young vines. This meticulously farmed vineyard is fast becoming a superstar in the region. Very good (+). Reviewed March 12, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Paul Lato “Alegria” Hilliard-Bruce Vineyard Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., 100 cases, $70. This vineyard is located on Hwy 246 4.5 miles west of Zotovich Vineyard and just west of Clos Pepe Vineyard. This is the first close-planted vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills and is managed by noted Central Coast viticulturist Jeff Newton. Owner John Hilliard is fanatical about meticulous farming and this is one of the most manicured vineyards in California. The 21-acre vineyard was planted over three years beginning in 2005 to Dijon clones 115, 667, 777 and 828, Pommard clone, and Calera selection. This wine contains primarily clone 115 with a tiny amount of 667. Paul says the incoming grapes were perfect and didn’t require sorting (“Like a well-kept woman”). Aged in 50% new French oak barrels. · Demure aromatics showing darker well-spiced cherry, berry and currant fruits with an underpinning of forest floor and underbrush. Earthy and mysterious on the palate with firm ripe tannins, a silky mouth feel, and some persistence on the aromatic finish. A lot to like in this young vines offering. Reviewed March 13, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »