William McPherson Hill, and early proponent of non-mission grapes in Sonoma County, founded his ranch in 1851. This vineyard, a parcel he and his descendants held onto until 1940, was over run by poison oak and blackberries when Otto Teller purchased the property in 1981. Teller cleared the brush to reveal vines that were nearly 100 years old, sustained on St. George rootstock. Rather than rip them out, he found an interested buyer for the fruit in Joel Peterson, who has made a single-vineyard wine from Old Hill since 1983. Will Bucklin, the current owner, conducted a census of those ancient vines and identified at least 14 varieties - mostly zinfandel, along with grenache, petite sirah, carignane and alicante bouschet. He continues to sell grapes to Peterson, who produced an elegant 2015 from the mix. It's bright and juicy, lasting on cherry freshness, with earthy tannins adding spice to the succulent fruit. This is a delicious California classic, remarkably easy to drink.Wine & Spirits, June 2018
Century-old grapevines have been restored to yield grapes of complexity and generosity. Aromas of bramble, heather, and cocoa create allure as pepper/capsicum spices the palate and intertwines with fine tannins. It's a standout.The Tasting Panel, June 2018
Brooding aromas of tar, licorice and smoked pepper open to deeply structured dark plum and orange zest flavors that power towards refined tannins. Best from 2019 through 2026.T.F. - Wine Spectator, June 15, 2018
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