2014 Ojai "Solomon Hills Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1230379 93 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A bigger, richer wine is the 2014 Chardonnay Solomon Hills, which comes from a terrific site in the Santa Maria Valley, just to the southwest of Bien Nacido. It offers ample apple, brioche, flowers and spice characteristics with a beautiful saline quality on the finish. Medium to full-bodied, layered and perfectly balanced, enjoy this classic Santa Barbara County Chardonnay over the coming 5-7 years. I always love my visits with Ojai’s Adam Tolmack and Fabien Castel, and it's always an educational and enlightening tasting as I'm able to taste through a multitude of different sites spread throughout Santa Barbara County. In addition, the Special Bottling releases based on different harvesting dates add even another variable into the equation. While I certainly believe they’ve pushed too far into the early harvesting movement, with an overriding focus on freshness and acidity, the wines nevertheless always possess interesting, balanced profiles and are a joy to drink. (JD)  (8/2016)

93 points Vinous

 Lemon confit, mint, white flowers and chamomile are some of the signatures in the 2014 Chardonnay Solomon Hills. Ample and creamy on the palate, the Solomon Hills is one of the most overt, dense Chardonnays in the Ojai range. Structurally, it reminds me of the style of Pinots that come off this site. Readers should expect a relatively intense Chardonnay (by Ojai standards) with tropically-leaning overtones that develop over time. (AG)  (9/2016)

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Price: $32.99

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- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.

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 Rhône blends.
Alcohol Content (%): 13