Santa Maria Valley

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This is the first crop and our first vintage of syrah from a tiny half-acre plot planted in 2005 at super cool Solomon Hills Vineyard. This vineyard works well with early ripening pinot noir and chardonnay, but it was a real stretch to imagine ripening syrah here. However, Santa Barbara County’s mild fall weather allowed us to wait until November for harvest, so we were able to pick at full ripeness in 2008.

The syrah from this spot is decidedly different than any other California syrah I have worked with. It shows off an exotic spicy, bacon-y, earthy personality, along with lots of berry fruitiness. This is a big bodied syrah that is also fresh, open and delicious to drink today! Bottled after aging 16 months in older French oak barrels, the wine was neither fined nor filtered.

Blend: 100% Syrah | Alcohol: 14.6% | Vinification: 100% Neutral French Oak | Barrel Aging: 15 Months | Total Production: 46 cases

Press Reviews

Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar

“Vivid ruby. Intensely perfumed aromas of sexy dark berries and cherry liqueur complemented by graphite, licorice and black cardamom; smells like a serious northern Rhone wine. Deep and sweet but focused, with sappy red and dark berry flavors and hints of smoky herbs and licorice. Picks up a suave floral pastille note on the back half and finishes sweet and long, with a lingering raspberry note.” – JR 93 Points

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

“Blackberries, smoke, tar and black olives are some of the notes that emerge from the 2008 Syrah Solomon Hills. Mineral notes appear later, giving the wine its sense of energy and focus. Crushed rocks, black pepper and spices add complexity on the finish. This is another terrific effort from Ojai. ” – AG 92 Points