Handmade wines since 1983.




- issue 40: October 2010

2007 Pinot Noir – Bien Nacido Vineyard red 89
2007 Pinot Noir – Clos Pepe Vineyard red 89
2007 Pinot Noir – Fe Ciega Vineyard red 91
2007 Pinot Noir – Presidio red 90
2007 Pinot Noir – Solomon Hills Vineyard red 92

The Ojai Vineyard, owned by Adam & Helen Tolmach, works closely with a dozen different vineyards in the Central Coast. They are strong believers that to produce quality wine they must provide exceptional care when growing the grapes. Rather than purchasing their grapes by the ton, they have long term agreements with growers to buy the fruit by the acre which allows them to work the vines and thin the crop to their strict specifications. For more information call (805) 649 1674 or visit

2007 Pinot Noir – Fe Ciega Vineyard: (from Sta Rita Hills fruit; 14.0%).

A complex and notably ripe nose features notes of menthol, dark cherry and pinot fruit, earth and a background hint of wood that together complement the rich, delicious and generous medium weight plus flavors that also reflect a touch of oak on the long and mouth coating finish. There is an ample amount of dry extract present that confers a velvety texture to the mouth feel. If there is a nit it’s that this is not an especially elegant wine. By contrast, what I particularly admire about the ’07 Fe Ciega is it has successfully allied ripeness and richness with balance and proportion, which is not always the case with many pinots that possess markedly ripe phenolics. 91/2014+

2007 Pinot Noir – Clos Pepe Vineyard: (from Sta Rita Hills fruit; 14.0%).

This is also quite ripe but again, avoids any roasted or alcoholic hints on the otherwise pretty and admirably pure red berry fruit aromas that display a discreet spiciness. The rich and delicious medium-bodied flavors possess good mid-palate fat and an appealing generosity but they don’t have quite the same impressive depth of the Fe Ciega on the mouth coating and lingering finish where there is a mild touch of warmth that is not enough to disturb the overall sense of harmony. 89/2013+

2007 Pinot Noir – Bien Nacido Vineyard: (from Santa Maria Valley; 14%).

Initially the nose was quite reticent and benefited greatly from a quick double decanting, which then revealed ripe but fresh red and blue pinot fruit aromas. The middle weight and nicely detailed flavors possess reasonably good depth and an attractive mouth feel while culminating in a slightly herbalinfused finish that displays good persistence but also a slight edginess that will probably round out in time. 89/2014+

2007 Pinot Noir – Solomon Hills: (from Santa Maria Valley; 14%).

A pretty and perfumed mix of ripe upper and lower red and black berry fruit liberally sprinkled with intense floral aromas. The fresh and vibrant medium-bodied flavors possess good detail and a silky mid-palate, all wrapped in a dusty and palate staining finish that is quite dry in the best sense of the term. Lovely and balanced if presently on the mildly austere side. Worth considering. 92/2014+

2007 Pinot Noir – Presidio:

A ripe but somber and quite restrained nose of deeply pitched earthy red berry fruit aromas complements the round, rich and solidly complex middle weight flavors that despite the backwardness of the nose are actually supple and forward before finishing with fine depth and length. This clearly needs a few years first but it should be good as there is fine underlying material and importantly, balance. 90/2014+