Don't Call it a Comeback.
Don't Call it a Comeback... Because Greg Brewer has never left.
In fact, he is one of the few mainstay, "rock star" winemakers of the Central Coast. He has a loyal following and stunning pedigree in the region. Brewer began his career at Santa Barbara Winery, then Sunstone Winery, and then launched Brewer-Clifton with Steve Clifton. But he was most synonymous with Melville, a cool-climate Pinot, Chard and Syrah house in Santa Rita Hills where he has been since 1997.
Although the details of his departure from Melville are unclear, it is, to say the least, an epic split in the region.
Greg Brewer has now reemerged in the marketplace as the winemaker of a new project called "Hilliard Bruce", a Pinot and Chard house also in Santa Rita Hills, just down the road from Brewer's old job at Melville. Still in the same neighborhood, Brewer is still knocking the ball out of the park with his signature style of big fruit with big backbone. While Brewer is obviously making wines in the new world, he's quite capable of keeping one foot in Europe as his wines are always balanced and well constructed while remaining to be exceedingly enjoyable to drink!
Husband & Wife Team John Hilliard & Christine Bruce are former artists and master gardeners who relocated from Houston to Santa Rita Hills in 2002 and purchased a 101 acre property planted with 21 acres of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Greg Brewer has been involved with the vineyard since its inception.
2012 Hilliard Bruce Chardonnay, Santa Rita Hills, CA
This wine is like liquid sunshine in a glass. The slightly golden hue and opulent nose immediately transport you to a tasting room by the Pacific Ocean. On the pallet the wine shows bright lemon, lime and green apple notes with subtle oak and cream core. Tech: This Chardonnay is kept on the lees for 16 months in 30% new French oak barrels going through full malolactic fermentation.
2011 Hilliard Bruce "Sun" Pinot Noir, Santa Rita Hills, CA
There's plenty to love about this pinot. It is somewhat dark in color and smells like fresh black berry, raspberry and hints at some oak. This wine is amazingly clean and concisely crafted. It is precisely balanced, lean, tart, dry and finishes with great length. Tech: Dijon Clones from a single parcel facing the mid-day sun. Sandy loam soil.
These wines are hitting the market now and they are priced to over deliver. Keep a look out and enjoy!