2015 Ojai "Solomon Hills Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay (Previously $34)

SKU #1283973 92 points Jeb Dunnuck

 Another beauty is the 2015 Chardonnay Solomon Hills, and it shows more white flowers, lemon rind and mineral notes in a very fresh, racy, even tart, style. Still, the purity of fruit leads, and it has a great texture. Give this beauty a few years. I always love the tasting with Ojai Vineyard’s Adam Tolmach and Fabien Castel. Consistent with just about every winemaker I spoke to, both commented on the tiny yields of 2015, which Adam attributed to an accumulation of drought and salt buildup as opposed to poor weather in the spring. Over the past decade or so, the style of the wines from this estate has significantly changed with harvest occurring much earlier than in the past. Today, the wines lean heavily towards the racy, lean end of the spectrum, while still offering fruit and texture. (JebDunnuck.com)  (8/2017)

92 points Vinous

 The 2015 Chardonnay Solomon Hills is the most intriguing of the three 2015 Chardonnays from Ojai because it expresses the natural intensity of the year while retaining plenty of energy and aromatic freshness. There is a lovely sense of oiliness and texture to the 2015, but no excess weight at all. (AG)  (9/2017)

K&L Notes

The Solomon Hills vineyard lies on the cooler, western part of the Santa Maria Valley appellation, with the Pacific Ocean only miles away. The wine is made from the 76 & 95 Dijon clones planted on sandy, loamy soil. The blocks that provide the fruit for Ojai's wines have been farmed organically since 2009. This wine shows less typical California style, forgoing tropical fruit flavor profiles for citrus, mineral, savory characteristics.

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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.


- 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.
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