Handmade wines since 1983.




- issue 44: October 2011
By Allen Meadows

Ojai Vineyard, The (Oak View, CA)

2009 Pinot Noir red 88
2008 Pinot Noir – Bien Nacido Vineyard red 89
2008 Pinot Noir – Clos Pepe Vineyard red 90
2008 Pinot Noir – Fe Ciega Vineyard red 89
2008 Pinot Noir – Presidio Vineyard red 90
2008 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:

2009 Pinot Noir: (Santa Barbara County, 1,060 cases, SRP $32, 14%). A somber dark berry fruit nose displays lovely breadth while complementing the opulent and pure middle weight flavors that possess a seductive mouth feel and fine volume, all wrapped in a dusty, mouth coating and balanced finish. 88/2013+

2008 Pinot Noir – Bien Nacido Vineyard: (Santa Maria Valley, 454 cases, SRP $44, 14%). A pretty, layered and discreetly spicy nose of red and blue pinot fruit leads to rich, generous and admirably full-bodied flavors that deliver fine length on the somber and mouth coating finish that evidences hints of chocolate. This isn’t especially typical yet it works. 89/2014+

2008 Pinot Noir – Clos Pepe Vineyard: (Sta. Rita Hills, 140 cases, SRP $44, 14%). A restrained, elegant and admirably pure nose features notes of violets and cassis that introduce very rich, generous and full-bodied flavors that possess a lush, even opulent mouth feel and a velvety, balanced and beautifully lingering finish. Lovely juice. 90/2014+

2008 Pinot Noir – Fe Ciega Vineyard: (Sta. Rita Hills, 273 cases, SRP $48, 14%). A wonderfully broad nose of red and black cherry liqueur, spice and discreet floral notes merge into delicious, round and quite generous medium-bodied flavors that possess a plush mouth feel. While the mouth coating finish is pretty and well-balanced, it doesn’t offer, or at least not yet, the attractive depth of the nose. We’ll see in time as Fe Ciega is more than capable of producing complex wines. 89/2014+

2008 Pinot Noir – Presidio Vineyard:
(Santa Barbara County, 177 cases, SRP $44, 13.5%). A fresh, pure and layered mix of upper and lower register fruit aromas that include raspberry, plum and dark berries. The detailed, intense and voluminous flavors possess a generous and velvety mouth feel before terminating in a supple, balanced and admirably persistent finish. Good stuff here too. 90/2014+

2008 Pinot Noir – Solomon Hills Vineyard: (Santa Maria Valley, 93 cases, SRP $40, 13.5%). The most complex nose in the range puts on display aromas of black cherry, red and black raspberry plus hints of plum, spice, cranberry and violets. The rich and generous medium weight flavors possess plenty of dry extract and while there is a fleshy texture there is also solid precision and exquisite balance to the lengthy finish. One to consider. 92/2014+