The hilltop vines grown straight in Limestone rock without benefit of topsoil, exposed to sun throughout the day, and blasted by howling winds; all combine to produce wines with concentration and rich textures. Like the other 2011 wines, the Hilltops Syrah is not only about this immediate gratification. I taste the excitement of the vintage that began with frost. I sense the vines telling me “we reigned victorious, we were knocked down, got back up, and we gave you this extraordinary product”.
Ripe Plum, sangre-iron, with hints of oak; this wine reminds me that I am a carnivore. Despite being rich and lavish, there is energy in this wine that makes me want to tear into some flesh. This wine is going to be a big hit. Forget being a carnivore, this wine makes me happy to be alive. Excitement bursts through the dense core and beams out, almost with revelatory radiance.
The 2011 Hilltops Syrah is the wine that folks spend all year looking for; the wine that steals the show at a geeked-out tasting group; and the wine your dinner guests say, “oh wow, show me that label”.
As the Syrah vineyards have matured, the Hilltops Syrah, picked only from vines growing on ridgelines and crowns, has become the most Hedonistic and Calfornian of our extensive Syrah offering. Barrel aged for an extended 6 months on 25% new French oak, the wine is typically the most impressive and upfront upon release. 94 pts from Steven Tanzer
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