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2016 The Hilt Vanguard Pinot Noir, Santa Barbara County, USA

$64.99 USD

The 2016 Pinot Noir Vanguard reveals notes of damson, plum, raspberries, currant leaf and rose petal, followed by a medium-bodied palate structured around fine-grained tannins, showing a bit more texture and mid-palate weight than the Sta. Rita Hills bottling, but to my taste less energy and complexity. Its acids are tangy and linger on the youthfully primary finish. The Vanguard hails from warmer sites that are sheltered from the wind.

92 Points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

As is the case with the Old Guard, the 2016 Pinot Noir Vanguard is relatively buttoned up and less exuberant than it can be. And that is just fine. A powerful, resonant wine, the 2016 exudes intensity and structure, all in a compelling package that has so much to offer. Readers will have to give the 2016 at least a few years to come into its own, but it is positively stellar. The rich, resonant finish makes the 2016 nearly impossible to resist, even at this early stage.

95 Points Vinous