Phillips Hill Estates

Owner(s) Toby Hill
Web site www.phillipshillestates.com
 
Link to this site

Owner and winemaker Toby Hill pursued a career in art in Manhattenbut gave up the harried lifestyle and returned to California where he grew up. He fell in love with a property in the Anderson Valley, built a house and adjacent art studio and kicked back. When some unfinished Pinot Noir became available in 2001, the studio was transformed into a winery and he released his first Pinot Noir. He now sources grapes from the Oppenlander Vineyard on Shandel Ranch in Comptche's Surprise Valley (just north of Anderson Valley), and the Toulouse Vineyard in the Anderson Valley. The Phillips Hill winery is located in Philo. John Pepe assists Hill in the winemaking duties. I have been very impressed with the two Pinot Noirs which are for sale on the website.

A tasting room was opened in 2009 in a Craftsman bungalow in Philo on Highway 128.

Reviewed Wines

2011 Phillips Hill Two Terroirs Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.58, 125 cases, $40. A blend of 70% Cerise and 30% Ridley vineyards. Clones are 115, Pommard and Wädenswil (Cerise) and 777 (Ridley). Natural yeast whole berry fermentation, aged 16 months in 30% new French oak barrels. · Light reddish-purple color in the glass. Alluring aromas of strawberries, cherries, and caramelized and spiced oak. Juicy flavors of strawberries, cranberries and red cherries with a hint of spice, supple tannins, and a tangy, dried cherry finish. Good. Reviewed June 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2009 Phillips Hill Estates Wiley Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.55, 380 cases, $38, released December 1, 2011. This vineyard is located in the cool deep end of the Anderson Valley and is often the last Pinot Noir vineyard harvest in this AVA. Dijon clones 115, 667 and 777. Yields 2 tons per acre. Aged 11 months in 35% new, 30% 1 year and 35% seasoned French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Smoky, toasty nose with a hint of cherry. A lighter, elegant style with pleasing flavors of red cherries, vanilla, cinnamon and oak. Solid but not remarkable, leaning a little too heavily on oak for me. Good. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2008 Phillips Hill Estates Ring of Fire Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 150 cases, $38. Released in the spring of 2010. Sourced from Corby and Toulouse vineyards. Clones 115, 667, 777, 2A and Pommard. Aged 11 months in 40% new French oak barrels. Egg white fined and unfiltered. · Light in color and fruit intensity with a smoky personality. Notes of cherries, forest floor and cigar ash. A barely serviceable wine. Unsatisfactory. Reviewed June 8, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Phillips Hill Marguerite Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 50 cases, $37. Sourced from a ridge top vineyard on the east side of the Anderson Valley located on the old Holmes Ranch property at 1,300 feet. Yields 2 tons per acre. Grafted from Chardonnay to Pinot Noir clones 115 and Molinari in 2002. Whole berry fermentation, 5 day cold soak, 16 days on skins. Unfined and unfiltered. Label says, “Here lives the inspirational possibility of reinvention mixed with a little jene sais quoi.” · Oak char and earth command the nose. Darker berries are featured but oak is the strongest player and thoroughly dominates the delicate fruit. Reviewed June 5, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Phillips Hill Corby Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 350 cases, $40. The Corby Vineyard was planted in 1995 along the east side of the Navarro River in the direct route of the fog channel from the Mendocino Coast. This is the first single vineyard-designate from this vineyard and may be the last as the property has been sold. 50% Pommard and 50% Dijon 115 clones. Yields were 2.5 tons per acre. Whole berry fermentation, 6 day cold soak, 16 days on the skins. Unfined and unfiltered. Aged 11 months in 40% new, 20% 1-year, and 40% seasoned French oak barrels. · Moderately light garnet color. The nose offers redder fruits, particularly Morello cherries, with a hint of flowers, grass and oak. Medium weighted cherries and strawberries on the palate with a touch of baking spices. Very sensual and satisfying mouth feel. Tasted twice with different impressions. At the Press tasting I was very impressed and rated the wine as excellent. Tasted at home I found it to be good but not exceptional. Pinot Noir is such a minx of a wine that declarations are always subject to the moment. Reviewed June 5, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Phillips Hill Estates Corby Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 350 cases, $40. · Demure spiced red fruit with complimentary oak and graham cracker flavors presented in an elegant fashion with a silky texture and spot-on balance. This wine displays the sensual side of Pinot Noir. Reviewed January 1, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Phillips Hill Winery Corby Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

350 cases, $40. Proprietor and winemaker Toby Hill is making his mark in the Anderson Valley with beautifully crafted and limited production vineyard-designated Pinot Noirs from Mendocino County. Hill is an artist as well and his labels are very eye-catching. The wines are sold through a mailing list wine club and the Phillips Hill tasting room in Philo on Highway 128. · A thoroughly satisfying cherry-driven Pinot that is well-spiced, lightly weighted, with perfect integration of tannins and acid. This wine really shows off the bright and juicy Anderson Valley fruit that pinotphiles love to come home to. Reviewed April 18, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Phillips Hill Estates Anderson Valley Toulouse Vineyard Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 175 cases, $42. From a 17-acre vineyard owned by Vern and Maxine Boltz in the deep end of the Anderson Valley. Planted in 1997. Yields 3 tons per acre. 33% each Dijon 115 and 667 and 2A. Whole berry fermentation, 5 day cold soak, 15 days on skins. Aged 11 months in 35% new French oak barrels. · Black cherry is the theme here both in the aromas and flavors. Very light and delicate, smoothly textured, with a touch of oak spice, fuzzy tannins and a respectable acid lift on the finish. A feminine wine that tries but fails to seduce me. Reviewed June 5, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Phillips Hill Estates Toulouse Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 175 cases, $42. · The nose offers confected cherries, root beer and brown spice. Moderately rich flavors of brown-sugared fruit and mocha. The ripe tannins are fine-grained and the wine is quite rounded and harmonious. Reviewed January 1, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Phillips Hill Oppenlander Vineyard Comptche Mendocino County Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 450 cases, $42. The 18-acre Oppenlander Vineyard is located 8 miles from the Mendocino Coast as the crow flies. Planted in 1998 and 1999, this is one of four vineyards in this emerging cool climate region. Dijon clones 114, 115 and 667, Pommard clone, Martini selection, all self-rooted. The soil is Oppenlander heavy clay loam unique to Comptche. Yields were 3 tons per acre. Whole berry fermentation, 4 day cold soak, 16 days on skins. Aged 11 months in 40% new French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. Label says, “The momentum of the place gives it a completeness.” · Darkest colored of the 2007 lineup. Deep, rich and dark stone and berry fruits especially black raspberry. A masculine wine reflective of this vineyard sporting muscular blackberry and black raspberry flavors with a hint of grapefruit on the back end. Still reserved and needs some time to evolve. Beautifully crafted. Reviewed June 5, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Phillips Hill Estates Toulouse Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 150 cases, $40. Hill calls this vineyard a “nursery for angels.” Clones 115, 667 and 2A. Aged 11 months in 35% new French oak. · The nose offers sexy cherry and cranberry scents with a whiff of alcohol peaking out. Richly layered core of black cherries, blackberries and cola that carry through to a finish that lasts an eternity. Soft and smooth in texture, but with finishing tannins that need to be shed. A bit backward now, but will reward another year in the bottle. Excellent. Reviewed June 9, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 Phillips Hill Estates Oppenlander Vineyard Comptche Mendocino County Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 550 cases, $42. Aged 11 months in 40% new French oak. · Startling good from start to finish. Aromas of Bing cherry, grass and wet earth entice, followed by delicious bright cherry and berry flavors with an exotic bent that grows in the mouth. Silky, clean and perfectly composed with striking length. A very, very seductive Pinot. Reviewed June 9, 2008 ARTICLE »