2010 Ojai Vineyard "Solomon Hills Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1202968 98 points Vinous

 The 2010 Pinot Noir Solomon Hills is dazzling from the very first taste. Dark red cherries, plums, menthol, tar and licorice take shape in a towering, majestic Pinot that captivates all the senses. Hints of hard candy, crushed rocks and menthol are layered into the nuanced, perfumed finish. This stunning Pinot from Adam Tolmach and Fabien Castel is firing on all cylinders today. It has been fabulous on the two different occasions I tasted it. (AG)  (7/2013)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Totally stunning, the 2010 Pinot Noir Solomon Hills has brilliant cut and definition, with vivid black cherry, earth and superb underlying minerality flowing to a medium-bodied incredibly pure Pinot Noir that has knockout class and poise. Showing solid concentration through the mid-palate, it should age gracefully through 2022. (JD)  (8/2013)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Deep red. Dark berry and cherry aromas gain power with air, picking up notes of licorice and black cardamom. Sweet, concentrated black raspberry and anise flavors provide very good palate coverage and are braced by zesty minerals. Lively for the vintage, this Pinot finishes with very good clarity, youthfully firm tannic grip and excellent persistence. Tolmach suggests being patient with this wine. 92+ points. (JR)  (11/2012)

91 points Allen Meadows - Burghound

 *Outstanding* This possesses the most complex nose in the range with its exuberantly spicy and floral-suffused nose of dark berries, plum and anise nuances. There is a silky, round and seductive mouth feel to the solidly concentrated and extract-rich flavors that possess refined supporting tannins on the delicious, balanced and impressively persistent finish. This is presently on the fruit-forward side but I suspect that aspect will recede with a bit of bottle age as the underlying material is of real quality. Drink: 2018+  (10/2013)

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Price: $69.99
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Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Maria/Santa Barbara

- Santa Maria and Santa Ynez make up the two AVAs of Santa Barbara County, an area known for its natural beauty and temperate climate. The best grape-growing areas, however, are located on the very coastal reaches of these two appellations, and are cooled by ever-present fog and ocean breezes (it is even cooler and foggier here than Carneros!). As expected, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive while the more inland zones lay claim to Bordeaux varietals and some RhĂ´ne blends.