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 2012 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.
This Solomon Hills Chardonnay was whole cluster pressed, settled overnight in stainless steel, and then placed in older French oak barrels for fermentation and aging. Because the natural acidity of the grapes was so high, it took nearly 11 months for the secondary malo-lactic fermentation to complete. This extended fermentation brought a delightful toasty quality to the aroma.
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“The 2012 Chardonnay Solomon Hills Vineyard is another racy, lively and crisp effort from this team. Showing plenty of oyster shell and marine-like salinity, it has pretty ripe apple fruit, brioche and hints of lively herbs emerging from the glass. Clean and classy all around, enjoy this medium-bodied, pure and elegant effort over the coming 2-4 years.” – JD 91 Points
Antonio Galloni’s Vinous
“The 2012 Chardonnay Solomon Hills is soft, supple and easygoing. Sweet floral notes meld into white stone fruits and mint. The style is lifted and perfumed throughout. There is good Solomon Hills character, but at the same time, the 2012 could have used a little more depth.”