2017 Ojai Vineyard Pinot Noir SBC

Year: 2017
Appellation: Santa Barbara County
Country: USA-California
Wine Advocate: 90
Vinous Media: 88+
Jeb Dunnuck: 92
Wine Enthusiast: 92
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.0%
Price :
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"Pale ruby, the 2017 Pinot Noir has a classically styled nose with aromas of cola, woodsmoke, black tea leaves, cranberry and Bing cherry plus undergrowth and earthy hints. The palate is light-bodied, silky and delicate with earthy character, soft tannins, juicy acidity and a long finish. This has nice purity and delicacy. 950 cases produced." (WA)

"The 2017 Pinot Noir (Santa Barbara County) is an attractive appellation-level bottling. Dried flowers, game, mint, tobacco, blood orange and dried herbs give the Santa Barbara Pinot its distinctly aromatic personality. The 2017 is built on a core of Bien Nacido fruit. Stylistically, it is quite savory, despite the minimal presence of whole clusters. A touch of reduction remains post-bottling, but otherwise, the 2017 is very nicely done." (VM)

"The appellation 2017 Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County is terrific, with a more Santa Maria mineral and masculine style. Medium-bodied, nicely balanced, and complex, with lots of smoke, dark fruits, and leafy herbs, it’s not a blockbuster but has beautiful character." (JD)

Winery Notes:
Making appellation level bottlings is great fun for winemakers. Rather than the more limited set of colors provided for single vineyard bottlings, many site expressions work together as do many colors arrayed on a painter’s palette. Floral contributions from here, minerality from there, and so it goes.

Mostly younger vines at Bien Nacido provided the framework for this Pinot Noir, with a fraction of super coastal Puerta Del Mar fruit and a discreet but powerful contribution from Fe Ciega in Sta Rita Hills. The wine shows Santa Barbara County’s potential for citrus and floral lift, and soft contoured red fruits that close out juicy. That’s enriched by lively white pepper and a rich umami quality that shows itself with some air.

As we like to make this wine, it’s thirst slaking, food-friendly and demands a refill. Nine months in French oak is a few months shorter than for our single vineyard wines, and that helps us capture the wine when it skews toward fruity and fun. It’s no simple quaffer though—while for years have crafted the wine to allow more openness in youth, we’ve seen our Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir in beautiful form 10+ years after bottling.