Wine Tasting Room

109 S Montgomery St in Ojai
Open Sun - Thur 12 to 6pm
Fri - Sat 12 to 8pm.

Tasting Room 805.798.3947
Winery 805.649.1674

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Large selection of Pinot Noir,
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Notes from the Vineyard

News: Jon Bonne - Ojai Top Syrah in Decanter August 2015

Antonio Galloni's August 2015 reviews
Read The Introduction: Santa Barabara On The Road
Read The full list of Ojai vineyard wines reviewed

The Wine Advocate 2015 reviews
Jeb Dunnuck August 28 2015

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California, Santa Barbara County: The Good News Keeps Coming

This was another massive tasting with Ojai’s Adam Tolmach and assistant winemaker Fabien Castel. They have recently opened a new tasting room in the town of Ojai (the estate is located just outside the town) and this has given them the ability to experiment more with harvest dates and winemaking, as they can sell these small production releases more easily via a tasting room than via distribution. That has resulted in a number of special/experimental bottlings based off harvest dates/elevage, so it is incredibly educational to taste through the lineup. While Adam didn’t present any 2014s, he told me that they had 40% of the grapes brought in before September 1. I struggle to understand these early pick dates, but this team does it with the best of them. As to the 2013s, Adam commented that the wines showed well earlier than the 2012s and it was a warm, generous and easy vintage. I think these are a step up over the 2012s.

2013 Pinot Noir Solomon Hills - 96
Santa Maria Valley
The 2013 Pinot Noir Solomon Hills is the star of the show in 2013 and is possibly the finest Pinot Noir I've tasted from this estate. All about its incredibly pure core of fruit, it still stays balanced, seamless and layered, with no hard edges and perfect integration of its fruit, acidity and tannin. Giving up lots of black raspberry, strawberry, Bing cherry and floral notes, this is one Pinot Noir to not miss!

2013 Pinot Noir Puerta Del Mar - 95
Santa Barbara County
A site that Adam first used for Pinot Noir in 2012, the 2013 Pinot Noir Puerta del Mar is an off-the-hook effort that blew me away with its silky, seamless texture. Giving up lots of classic Pinot Noir strawberry, raspberry, rose petal and exotic spice aromas and flavors, it has no hard edges, medium-bodied richness and a terrific finish. It shines more for its elegance and purity than power or richness, but I certainly wanted another glass.

2012 Syrah Bien Nacido - 95
Santa Maria Valley
Young and unevolved, with beautiful creme de cassis, crushed-rock minerality, black pepper, violet and graphite, the 2012 Syrah Bien Nacido is reminiscent of a solid Hermitage from the fame Le Meal lieu-dit in the Northern Rhone. Medium to full-bodied, beautifully proportioned and seamless, with a layered, silky texture and building tannin on the finish, it could use a tad more mid-palate concentration, yet it's still a brilliant Syrah that does everything right. Drink it anytime over the coming 10-15 years.

2013 Pinot Noir Kick On - 95
Santa Barbara County
Much more masculine and muscular than the Puerta del Mar release, the 2013 Pinot Noir Kick On Ranch exhibits lots of wild strawberry, black cherry, crushed violets and distinct minerality to go with a tight, energetic and vibrant feel on the palate. Possessing plenty of acidity and structure, give it a few years in the cellar.

2013 Chardonnay Solomon Hills - 94
Santa Maria Valley
A site that continues to blow me away, the Solomon Hills Vineyard is located in the Santa Maria Valley and is within sight of the Pacific Ocean. Adam's 2013 Chardonnay Solomon Hills gives up rock-star notes of white peach, honey blossom and white flowers to go with an incredibly pure, layered and balanced feel on the palate. Its fruit, acidity and alcohol and perfectly integrated and this beauty shines on its stunning purity of fruit. It's another wine I find hard to resist currently, yet will be better next year and shine for 5-7 years at a minimum.

2013 Chardonnay Puerta Del Mar-94
Santa Barbara County
Seeing slightly more new oak and coming from a tiny, frigidly cold vineyard that's located just outside of the Sta. Rita Hills AVA, the 2013 Chardonnay Puerta del Mar offers lots of stone and orchard fruits, citrus blossom, subtle oak and lots of saltiness to go with a layered, focused and gorgeously pure style on the palate. This is a riveting Chardonnay that does everything right, and I think it's a fair step up over the 2012. Drink it anytime over the coming 6-7 years.

2013 Syrah Duvarita-94
Santa Barbara County
From a cool vineyard in the Sta. Rita Hills formerly known as Presidio, the 2013 Syrah Duvarita Vineyard has a cool, spicy, peppery feel in its blackberry and blueberry fruit, crushed rock, olive, violet and smoked game-like bouquet. This flows to a medium to full-bodied, supple, beautifully pure and elegant Syrah that has ultra-fine tannin, a full, rich mid-palate and terrific length on the finish. Slightly understated at first, it's a Syrah that grows on you with time in the glass and it continues to gain depth with air time. As with all of these new releases from Adam, it has the polish and fruit to offer immense pleasure today, yet this should be at its finest from 2017-2027.

2011 Syrah Roll Ranch -94
Ventura County
The 2011 Syrah Roll Ranch is terrific and this warmer site obviously did just fine in this cooler vintage. Rich, concentrated and textured, with lots of ripe currants, chocolate, leather, roasted herbs and meatiness, it's full-bodied, polished and layered on the palate, with a good mid-palate and sweet tannin. This is a rich, sexy and voluptuous release from this team that will have 10-15 years of longevity.

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