Wine Tasting Room

109 S Montgomery St in Ojai
Open Sun - Thur 12 to 6pm
Fri - Sat 12 to 8pm.

Tasting Room 805.798.3947
Winery 805.649.1674

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Large selection of Pinot Noir,
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Notes from the Vineyard

Antonio Galloni's August 2015 reviews.

Read The Introduction: Santa Barabara On The Road
Read The full list of Ojai vineyard wines reviewed

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This is a strong set of wines from Adam Tolmach and Fabien Castel. In particular, readers will find numerous Pinot Noirs and Syrahs that merit considerable attention. I am less thrilled with the whites, some of which come across as excessively light, with less flavor development than is typical here. In recent years, Tolmach and Castel have dramatically reduced their use of punchdowns and now favor pumpovers and carbonic maceration with a greater use of whole clusters for their red wines. As always the malos proceed at a slow, leisurely pace in these cold cellars and racking is kept to a minimum, which means just once in preparation for bottling for the Pinots, while the Grenache and Syrah might see a summer racking in between. Ojai remains one of the hidden jewels in Santa Barbara, with prices that are exceedingly fair for the quality of what goes in the bottle.

2013 Grenache John Sebastiano Vineyard Special Selection   
The 2013 Grenache John Sebastiano Vineyard Special Selection is a later pick that Adam Tolmach decided to bottle separately. Here the flavors are darker and more boldly sketched, with fruit that veers towards the blue/purplish end of the spectrum. Violet, lavender, cloves and menthol are some of the many notes that add to the wine's irrepressible personality. This is a fabulous showing from Ojai.
94        Antonio Galloni            2016 - 2025

2013 Grenache John Sebastiano Vineyard     
A deep, dense wine, the 2013 Grenache John Sebastiano Vineyard hits the palate with intense, plump fruit, flowers, pomegranate and exotic spices. Drink this succulent, racy Grenache over the next decade or so. John Sebastiano rarely fails to deliver wines of intrigue and distinctiveness. The 2013 was done with fully destemmed fruit. This is another terrific wine from this cool, exposed site, which sits on the border of the Sta. Rita Hills appellation, with the Pinot Noir planted within the borders of the appellation and the other varieties outside of it!
94        Antonio Galloni            2016 - 2025

2011 Syrah White Hawk    
The 2011 Syrah White Hawk is super expressive. Dark and mysterious in the glass, the 2011 Syrah White Hawk draws the taster in with its compelling personality. Sweet black cherries, mint, soy, spices, lavender, tobacco and spice are super-expressive. This is a rare 2011 built on serious depth and concentration. I imagine the 2011 will drink well for at least another handful of years, perhaps more.
94        Antonio Galloni            2018 - 2025

2011 Syrah Roll Ranch        
The 2011 Syrah Roll Ranch is another big, explosive wine from Ojai. Scents of leather, cedar, tobacco, smoke and licorice wrap around a core of dark fruit in a rich, exuberant wine. Red-fleshed stone fruits, pomegranate and sweet floral notes add further shades of dimension on the expressive finish as the 2011 finds a bit more finesse. This is a fabulous showing from Ojai's Roll Ranch Syrah.
94        Antonio Galloni            2018 - 2025

2013 Pinot Noir Solomon Hills      
The 2013 Pinot Noir Solomon Hills is one of the most intriguing wines in the range. It is also the most backward and inward of the Pinots. Hints of violet, lavender, licorice and cloves open up, but only gradually. The 2013 packs a serious punch, but it is going to need a few years to fully unwind. Still, there is plenty of promise here.
93+      Antonio Galloni            2017 - 2028

2013 Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard Clone 22
Deep and resonant to the core, the 2013 Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard Clone 22 hits the palate with pungent red fruit, plum, smoke, licorice and sage. The interplay of rich fruit and floral/savory overtones is compelling. Veins of bright, saline-infused fruit round out the exquisite finish. The 2013 is all about delicacy, and it shows. This is sublime juice. The Clone 22 was done with 100% whole clusters.
93+      Antonio Galloni            2016 - 2025

2013 Pinot Noir Puerta del Mar    
One of the more delicate, sensual wines in the range, the 2013 Pinot Noir Puerta del Mar speaks to aromatics and silkiness above all else. Hard candy, rose petal, mint and cinnamon add further shades of nuance on the silky finish. Puerta del Mar sits on the western edge of the appellation. Although there is a suggestion of whole clusters, the 2013 was made from fully destemmed fruit.
 93       Antonio Galloni            2016 - 2028

2013 Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard    
The 2013 Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard is quite a bit more exuberant than the Clone 22 bottling. Sweet red cherries, plums, orange peel, spices and mint meld together in a juicy, mid-weight Pinot that should drink well for another decade plus. Beautifully textured through to the finish, the 2013 is a real pleasure to taste today. The Bien Nacido bottling is a blend of Martini and 777 clones done with 15% whole clusters.
93        Antonio Galloni            2016 - 2025

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