Santa Maria Valley

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I love the fine fruit and excellent balance this vineyard gives. Solomon Hills is on the western edge of the Santa Maria Valley Appellation, so it’s climatically very cool. Planted to the Dijon clones of chardonnay, it has none of the typical California style of tropical fruitiness. It’s all lemon curd, pine and minerals–making it a great match with rich chicken dishes made with lots of cream.

The 2010 Chardonnay Solomon Hills comes across as elegant and refined. A delicate aroma of wet stones with a touch of nutmeg entices the palate. The wine follows through with a thick texture that is mineral, tangy/salty, and finishes with an aftertaste of poached pears. Sublime.

While some found the 2010 vintage to be challenging or even hellish, we loved it! Sure, with any difficult vintage (cool weather, excessive heat, high rainfall) there will be some hiccups, but overall we were able to craft a simply thrilling lineup of wines. Weather trumps everything else in grape growing, and the summer of 2010 was the summer that never arrived. In warm Ojai it never got hot, and in Santa Maria and Lompoc, it was downright cold. This had a profound effect on the vines and the grapes they produced. Hot weather burns off delicate aromatics and acidity and helps produce lots of sugar, so cool 2010 gave us grapes and wines of unusual aromatic intensity and fresh acidity–all brought together with a gentler texture due to lower alcohol.

Blend: 100% Chardonnay | Alc: 13.8% | Vinification: 100% Neutral French Oak | Barrel Aging: 10 Months | Total Production: 135 cases

Press Reviews

Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate

“From a cool, sandy plot located in the Santa Maria Valley, southwest of Bien Nacido, the 2010 Chardonnay Solomon Hills is flat out gorgeous. Offering up loads of citrus, mineral, lemon curd and hints of nuttiness, it has a steely, racy feel on the palate with superb clarity and definition. While lean and racy, it builds beautifully on the palate and has plenty of richness.” – JD 93 Points

Antonio Galloni’s Vinous

“Focus and delineation are the hallmarks of the 2010 Chardonnay Solomon Hills. Bright citrus, white flowers, mint and crushed rocks inform a tense, taut Chardonnay loaded with personality. Sweet floral notes add lift in a Chardonnay that is all about weightless precision and impeccable balance. The best qualities of this cool, sandy vineyard come through in spades.” – AG 94 Points