Jeff Hill 2011 Pinot Noir

“sustainably farmed” in “Napa Valley • Carneros”, CA; 13.5% ABV
$9 at the Oakland, CA, store on 5 Nov

JeffHill_2011_CarnerosPNAlthough I didn’t like the Hill Wine Co. 2012 Napa Pinot Noir, I do prefer Carneros’ Pinots to Napa’s, and I believe Seedboy had said this wine was “lovely.”  Although I did like it better than than Hill’s purely Napa Pinot, I wasn’t very fond of this one, either.  However, to the best of my recollection, someone else said that one of these Hill Pinots and the Cima Collina Pinot were nice complements to each other, so maybe some folks out there will appreciate it.

On the first night, it was a little lighter weight than the Hill 2012 Napa and definitely more nuanced, with flavors of ripe, red cherry, some orange / orange peel, and brown earth.  It still, however, never really opened up into an expansive Pinot Noir.  I suspect I’m completely in the Cima Collina camp, not at all in the Hill Pinot camp.

On the second night, the second half (saved in a 375ml bottle and stoppered with very little air) was worse.  Instead of opening up, it just became more acid and crude.  I didn’t even finish it.  I’d guess it could become a decent wine after at least a few years of age in cool storage, but at this point I can only recommend that you drink it on the first night.  Seedboy?

 

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25 thoughts on “Jeff Hill 2011 Pinot Noir

  1. Schiavalicious

    Has anyone tried the 2011 Pinor Noir more recently? I just saw it at the West Sac GO and was thinking of giving it a try.

    Reply
    1. Darrell

      I’m surprised it’s still around. I haven’t had it since after the Fall sale in 2014, but if the West Sac store is cooled down enough in the Summer, I think it would be OK. I wanted more and was waiting for a few bottles more during last year’s Spring sale, but they were bought before the sale and so I missed out.

      Reply
      1. seedboy

        Enjoyed a bottle last Friday. I bought it when GO first got it and it has been in my cook Berkeley garage ever since. It was in excellent shape.

        Reply
          1. seedboy

            Last summer he was sentenced to a year in jail. Noteworthy, though, that his website is still live and offering wine.

            Reply
  2. lim13

    A friend of mine in the retail grocery business sent me this lengthy article about the “illustrious” Mr. Hill. Very interesting reading…and rather sad in terms of the industry and one individual.

    Reply
    1. Seedboy

      That story is consistent with what I’d previously heard about him. The 2011 cab I have is designated Oakville so it is not on the banned list.

      Reply
    2. Darrell

      Lim, thanks for the link to the article on Hill. Now I know the background on why Hill has been convicted and serving time. What a scumbag. I thinks it’ a policy of GO to not divulge the background of their wine acquisitions, none of it, as they should. The link to the sale page at Invino of the 2011 Jeff Hill Cabernet Sauvignon, on the other hand, did leave a bad taste in my mouth after reading yesterday’s article from the NY Times. Ted Westhall of Invino did purchase the CS fair and square, ignorant of the duplicity of Hill at the time, but to read the sales page of Westhall dancing around and skirting the Jeff Hill background gives him a thumbs down for me.

      Reply
  3. JoelA

    The 2011 Carneros is a nice wine. Takes a little while to open up and I think it’ll be even better in a couple or three years.

    Reply
    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Joel. This vote of confidence for the wine means a lot to me coming from a Pinot expert like you. Seedboy also liked it quite a bit. Ok, I guess I’m outvoted on this one. 🙂

      Reply
  4. Seedboy

    I opened a bottle of the Black Dog Series Napa pinot last night. It is not particularly complex and there is nothing exciting about it, but it is a soundly made wine that tastes like pinot noir and has no real flaws. While I prefer the Cima Collina, and that is where my money would go if I had room for more wine, I will note that this wine has a better chance of being in good shape two years from now.

    Reply
  5. EHL

    I opened up a bottle of the Jeff Hill Carneros PN recently with a friend and enjoyed it thoroughly.

    On the second day, it seemed to retain its delicate, well-balanced and complex character to the last sip. Although PN is not my favorite varietal, I am coming to appreciate its distinctive essence more and more.

    Reply
  6. Darrell

    BW, I must have liberal tastes since I appreciated both the Hill Carneros and the Cima Collina Pinots equally, both of which you rated as drinkable. My formative wine drinking years were when there was no Oregon, no CA Central Coast appellations that produce good PN. There were no Santa Barbara wines and the Sierra foothills had barely begun. I had to spend relatively big bucks then for a decent PN, Chalone, Joe Swan and Mt. Eden for example. So when I can buy a PN that smells and tastes like a decent PN at these prices, I am a happy camper, speaking of which, the Hill Carneros was had in sheep camp and it hit the spot along with other GO wines. Had a 2010 Michel Girault Pouilly-Fume that had a grapefruit component
    that I had never noticed at home before.

    Reply
        1. seedboy

          I bought some of both vintages, and like you preferred the 2011. There might still be some 2008 PF at Petaluma, the wine is very tasty for $3.99

          Reply
            1. seedboy

              I’ve only tasted one bottle of this Darrel but a trusted friend has tasted more. Even the one that had obviously leaked was tasty (and he is sensitive to oxidation).

    1. BargainWhine Post author

      Hi Darrell. Thanks for keeping things in perspective! 🙂 As you know, I absolutely loved the Cima Collina except that it seemed to shut down after about an hour. However, as I think I commented, the saved half bottle did not shut down at all, so I don’t really know what’s going on with it, except that it does have a pretty good window of excellent drinking. 🙂

      Reply
  7. Seedboy

    It has been a while since I opened one of these. I did buy a few of the two lesser expensive Hill pinots. I should try one soon and when I do I’ll report.

    Reply

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