(75 customer reviews)

Hitching Post Pinot Noir Highliner 2019

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14.20% /
750ml /
Vintage: 2019
  • VIN 93
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12 bottles
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The newly released Hitching Post Pinot Noir Highliner 2019 is an exceptional blend of vineyards from Santa Maria Valley and the Sta. Rita Hills, crafted to perfection by winemakers Gray Hartley and Frank Ostini. This complex and elegant Pinot Noir captivates the nose with a bouquet of aromas: black cherries, plums, clove, leather, mocha, and incense.

The Hitching Post Pinot Noir Highliner shows a vivid ruby color in the glass with a bright, translucent hue. The aromas of black cherry, clove, and incense come through on the palate and are balanced by soft notes of leather and mocha. The palate is smooth with a full body and round tannins for structure. The wine has a lingering finish that is both elegant and inviting.

Deservedly earning a score of 93 points from Vinous, the Hitching Post Pinot Noir Highliner is a remarkable expression of Pinot Noir from the maritime-cooled vineyards of Santa Barbara County. This top-of-line bottling has achieved balance and complexity with its forward fruit and richness from the Santa Maria Valley, and its earthiness and structure from the Sta. Rita Hills. Whether enjoyed on its own or with food, the Hitching Post Pinot Noir Highliner is an unforgettable experience.

Weight 3.5 lbs

75 reviews for Hitching Post Pinot Noir Highliner 2019

  1. Christopher Webster

    Unique California Pinot Noir with vegetal notes and hints of cedar.

  2. Jose Sullivan

    Raspberry aromas with a garnet hue.

  3. Peter Lussier

    Crimson color.

  4. Armanda Smith

    Excellent Cali pinot with a great nose of red berry fruit, spice, and herbal notes. Ripe raspberry notes on the palate with balanced acid.

  5. Justin Burns

    Excellent medium-bodied red with a balanced blend of cherry, orange, and spice aromas. The red fruit flavors and dry finish make it a great choice.

  6. Karima Ellison

    Peppery nose, not fruit forward. Spicy pepper in the mouth, pairs well with red meat. Hitching Post is a safe bet.

  7. Neil Maroney

    Review: Spicy aroma, may cause eye irritation. Pepper and coriander flavors, complements red meat. Best paired with food, needs aging. Hitching Post delivers consistent red wines.

  8. Geneva Pfeiffer

    Nice wine with dry fruit and raisin notes in the nose, average complexity, and a fruity and licorice finish. Ready to drink now.

  9. Travis Davis

    Great Pinot with refreshing lightness and delightful cherries.

  10. Judith Mclaughlin

    Deep color, peppery nose, complex taste with hints of pepper, coriander, and oak. Not refined like Bourgogne wines.

  11. Tina Chang

    Tart cherry and spice aromas, earthy and fruity taste with mild tannins and balanced acidity.

  12. Kitty Watkins

    Plum/prune notes with earthy flavor, heavy tannins and short tail. Good for the price, but sour.

  13. Brad Carron

    Deep red color with fast-moving curtains. Nose of berries and powerful with soft tannins. Age-worthy for 5 years.

  14. Rachelle Mahaffey

    “Agree with previous tasters. Dry fruit, raisins, average complexity, fruit, licorice. Nice wine, but drink now as fruit is fading and bitterness emerging. Hoping for a better ’08.”

  15. Barbara Perryman

    Complex taste with notes of pepper, coriander and oak. Deep color with fruity and peppery aroma.

  16. Cody Fitzgerald

    Great aromatics of black fruits, spice and oak notes with a lovely extracted dark ruby color. The medium/full bodied palate shows extraction and balance. Drinking well now, likely at its peak.

  17. Susan Jones

    Good value, clear strawberry red with berry aroma and taste. Decant for 2 hours for best results.

  18. Morris Sanchez

    Good American Pinot with pepper, oak, and plum flavors. Can age well.

  19. Lena Sheridan

    Decanted for 2 hours, strawberry dominates, enjoyable.

  20. Adriana Cyr

    “Excellent! New world style with warm fruit, pepper, and minerals on the palate. Decanting recommended. A true pleasure, enjoy now.”

  21. Nicole Ashalintubbi

    Smooth and easy to drink with a nice balance of tart dark red fruit. Modest depth and complexity with a pleasant finish.

  22. Richard Hart

    Ruby color. Aromas of sour cherry, fresh red fruits, raspberry, clay. Mineral component on palate. Nice wine.

  23. Robert Dierks

    Earthy with hints of dirt and clay on the nose, followed by a sour cherry taste. A bit bitter, but a heavy weight for a Pinot.

  24. Jessica Fullard

    Undrinkable wine with tartness and lack of elegance, green strawberries and animal fat flavors. Going in the sink.

  25. Sarah Hall

    Smooth strawberry wine pairs perfectly with tuna. Medium/full body, medium acidity, and a smooth finish.

  26. Michael Thomas

    Unbalanced wine with too much burn, some fruit notes, and spice. Boring.

  27. Paul Hayes

    Earthy with a feminine touch.

  28. Martin Perkins

    Fresh berries with a thicker mouth feel than most pinots. Great for pairing with BBQ.

  29. Theresa Waters

    Great potential for aging.

  30. Ellyn Stone

    Excellent SBC Pinot. A perfect blend of cherry, blueberry, and spice.

  31. Randy Carpenter

    Decent structure and pleasant finish with red fruit notes. A good choice for weeknights.

  32. Priscilla Riggs

    Balanced with earthy notes and a pleasant finish; no overpowering fruit detected.

  33. Shirley Gomez

    Light red with a nice nose of red fruit, tart cherries, and some strawberry. Good acidity, but the mid-palate is disjointed and angular. Light tannins, some awkwardness on the finish with lingering astringency. The wine doesn’t quite deliver.

  34. Cindy Siddique

    Large-scaled and elegant Pinot with sappy, dense fruit. Notes of black cherry, framboise, plum and spice. Good acidity, moderate tannin, and sweet fruit that gains when opened. Great for 4-5 years.

  35. Carolyn Roberts

    Great wine, long finish, balanced acidity, and bright fruit notes.

  36. Ricardo James

    Cork flaw present, not negligible.

  37. Laura Stanley

    Complex with ripe cherry, raspberry, earthy undertone, dried leafs, clove, polkagris, wild strawberries, sweet liquorice, round, smooth, and long finish.

  38. Micheal Jackson

    Balanced with fruit, structure, and earthiness.

  39. John Strom

    Light-bodied Pinot with soft cherry notes and earthy undertones. Slightly bitter finish.

  40. Dora Obrien

    Day two: Darker, unsettled strawberry juice. Top Pinot with hitching points.

  41. Tracy Smith

    Aging well with good acidity. Peak in 2-3 years.

  42. Laura Langehennig

    Overpriced, but nice.

  43. John Wyndham

    Expertly made Pinot with juicy red fruit, smoked meat, and faint vanilla notes. Well-balanced and exciting with firm tannins and a medium-length red berry finish. (90-92 pts)

  44. Virginia Juariqui

    Silky palate with deep fruit notes of black cherry, raspberry, and orange peel. Oak is prominent, slightly less complex than previous years. Thanksgiving wines 2016.

  45. Dustin Burgess

    SLH Pinot with lovely floral notes.

  46. Dolores Baca

    Great acidity and memorable finish, with deep cherry notes.

  47. Jeffrey Arata

    Fruit forward, not ideal with meal. Enjoyable for post-meal relaxation. Herbal and earthy notes on finish. Better in a year or two.

  48. Geneva Stcyr

    Great 2008 pinot from Hitching Post – earthy, juicy, semi-sweet and spicy. Medium finish. Worth the wait, wish I had more.

  49. Thomas Chan

    Hitching Post’s elegant Pinot Noir has a great acidity, red cherry, cola, and a long finish. A must-try for Pinot lovers.

  50. Patrick Murphy

    Enjoyed classic California Pinot. Rich, not overdone. Lots of spice, red fruit. Drink now.

  51. Karla Williams

    Highly recommended pinot with elegant balance, silky tannins, and perfect acidity. Strawberry, raspberry, and violets complement its medium body.

  52. Anthony Rose

    Ruby colored with medium legs, no sediment. Aroma of cranberry, strawberry, dust, mushroom and vanilla. Tastes like strawberry, red currant, dust, vanilla and clove with light/medium body and bright texture. Medium finish with medium acidity.

  53. Anna Hummel

    Good entry-level Pinot with woody complexity and decent fruit from Santa Barbara region.

  54. Barbara Johansen

    Lean wine with tart cranberry and red fruit notes. Burgundian style. 13% ABV.

  55. Douglas Dooling

    Bright red fruits with damp earth, good depth & balance, but simple & too much oak on PnP. Best after some air or decanting. Solid value for mid-$20s Pinot.

  56. Bernard Martin

    Smooth Pinot Noir with pleasant nose, chilled a bit. Easy to like.

  57. Michael Hilbert

    Decent, with acceptable fruit notes.

  58. William Ferdig

    Lovely Pinot Noir with a velvety mouthfeel and top-notch bouquet and palate. No noticeable tannins. Best California Pinot Noir example.

  59. Mary Johnson

    Distinctive Pinot with leather, tobacco, and earth notes. Great due to its atypical taste.

  60. Robert Carey

    Excellent Pinot, definitely worth a repeat.

  61. Sandra Fisher

    Dark ruby color with black cherry, blackberry, black pepper, and smoke aroma. Dark fruit flavors of black cherry, blackberry, plum, and cassis. Needs decanting for 15-30 minutes. Lengthy cherry and spice finish. Excellent, a favorite treat since Sideways.

  62. Steven Botello

    Great easy-to-drink Pinot noir from Santa Barbara. Will repurchase.

  63. John Signorile

    Disappointing, doesn’t live up to hype.

  64. John Blossom

    Improved score in recent Pinot shootout, 93+ by Vinnørd Holte.

  65. Charlotte Tucker

    Delicious. Paired with seasoned pork fillet and salad. Benefits from aeration.

  66. Deborah Sutton

    2018 vintage tasted great, bought at Gelson’s Market in Sherman Oaks. Enjoyed it for our anniversary celebration at Morongo Casino and Gipsy Kings concert.

  67. Helen Figueroa

    Wife-approved. Smooth. Bought 9 more at Total Wines.

  68. Jason Engler

    Great young wine, enjoyable now.

  69. Marvin Norton

    Ruby color with matchstick and smoked meat aroma. Medium body, acidity, and tannin grip. Red cherry and sauerkraut taste. Decanting recommended.

  70. Melissa Laffoon

    Full-bodied with a savory raspberry and red cherry palette, a medium cranberry finish, and mouthwatering acidity. A delicious vintage from Central Coast.

  71. Alfred Washington

    Smooth and good 2018 vintage from Total Wines.

  72. Gertrude Ernest

    Clean, pure and balanced with light tangy flavor, spiced mulberry aroma and good sweetness. Drinks well despite being young and slightly heavy.

  73. Virginia Healy

    A crowd-pleasing Pinot Noir with a focus on red fruits, oak, and acidity. Smooth with flavors of forest berries, vanilla, and cherry coke.

  74. Ramon Panebianco

    Red-purple color, black cherry, spice, and plum aromas. Black cherry, blackberry, plum, and cinnamon flavors with good balance and structure. Perfect with grilled or roasted meats.

  75. April Merriweather

    Magnum format of this wine was perfect – plush and in a great spot. Perfect storage made a huge difference. Fabulous with dinner at Hitching Post.

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Critical Acclaim

VIN 93


The 2019 Pinot Noir Highliner is a blend of sites in Santa Maria and the Sta. Rita Hills. Black cherry, plum, cloves, leather, mocha and incense lend notable complexity to this mid-weight, refreshing Pinot Noir. There is good depth and plenty of freshness to pull it all together.

What does Hitching Post Pinot Noir Highliner 2019 taste like?

Earthy Flavors of the wine

leather, earthy, mushroom

Red Fruit flavors of the wine

cherry, raspberry, red fruit

Oaky Flavors of the wine

oak, tobacco, vanilla


Black Fruit Flavors of the wine

blackberry, plum, dark fruit

Aromas and Flavors of Spices in the wine

pepper, licorice, cinnamon

Citrus notes found in the wine

citrus, orange, orange peel

cheese, cream

Vegetal notes found in the wine

tomato, asparagus, rhubarb


Floral aromas found in the wine

violet, perfume, apple blossom

Food Pairing with Hitching Post Pinot Noir Highliner 2019

Our wine experts think this Light and Perfumed Hitching Post Pinot Noir Highliner 2019 wine would be a match made in heaven with these dishes. Bon appétit!
Hartley-Ostini Hitching Post Winery
In the picturesque landscapes of Santa Barbara County, a winery has emerged as a true beacon of exceptional winemaking. Hartley-Ostini Hitching Post Winery, founded by the dynamic duo Gray Hartley and Frank Ostini, has not only captured the hearts of wine enthusiasts but has also played a significant role in putting Santa Barbara County on the wine map in recent years. Gray Hartley and Frank Ostini's partnership blossomed from a deep-rooted friendship and a shared passion for wine. Their journey began decades ago when they met while working at the renowned San Ysidro Ranch. United by their love for winemaking, they founded Hitching Post Winery in 1984, with a vision to create wines that truly reflected the region's unique terroir and character. However, it was the unexpected success...check our brand Hitching Post
Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir, a name derived from the French words for 'pine' and 'black,' refers to both a red-wine grape variety of the species Vitis vinifera and the wines predominantly made from these grapes. This grape varietal is celebrated for its tightly clustered, pinecone-shaped bunches of fruit. It has a reputation for being a delicate and challenging grape to cultivate and transform into wine, but it yields some of the most highly prized and expressive wines in the world. 2. Growing Regions: Climate and Soil Pinot Noir thrives in cooler climates, making it a staple in regions like Burgundy (France), Oregon's Willamette Valley (USA), Central Otago (New Zealand), and parts of Australia like Yarra Valley and Tasmania. The success of Pinot Noir in these areas can be attributed to specific...Please check Pinot Noir for more information

Winemaker of Hitching Post Pinot Noir Highliner 2019

Gray Hartley and Frank Ostini

Gray Hartley and Frank Ostini

In the vast and diverse world of winemaking, certain partnerships stand out for their exceptional synergy and shared passion. Gray Hartley and Frank Ostini, the winemaking duo behind Hitching Post Wines, exemplify this harmonious collaboration. With their deep-rooted friendship, unwavering commitment to quality, and innovative approach, Hartley and Ostini have created a legacy that has captivated wine enthusiasts worldwide. Building a Bond Gray Hartley and Frank Ostini's partnership was forged through their mutual love for wine and their connection to California's Santa Barbara wine country. Their friendship began in the 1970s when they met while working at the iconic San Ysidro Ranch. This shared experience laid the foundation for their enduring... More Products
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