2018 Ojai Vineyard Pinot Noir SBC

Year: 2018
Appellation: Santa Barbara County
Country: USA-California
Wine Advocate: 92
Vinous Media: 88
Jeb Dunnuck: 90
Red Wine
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"The 2018 Pinot Noir from Santa Barbara County has a pale to medium ruby-purple color and elegant scents of black tea leaves, cola, forest floor and red and black cherry fruits. The palate is light to medium-bodied and silky in texture with layers of earth, fruit and citrusy accents, finishing long. 1,115 cases produced." (WA)

"The 2018 Pinot Noir (Santa Barbara County) is exuberant and racy in the glass. A burst of sweet red cherry and raspberry makes a strong first impression. This light to medium-bodied, fruity Pinot offers plenty of appeal in a ripe, intensely perfumed style. Hard candy and exotic floral accents linger on the close. " (VM)

"Leading off the Pinot Noirs, the 2018 Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County has a pretty, pure, medium-bodied, almost understated style that carries classy cherry and strawberry fruits, a touch of stemmy herbs and spice, light tannins, and beautiful overall balance. It's a classic, elegant Pinot Noir to enjoy over the coming 4-6 years.

I continue to love the wines from Adam Tolmach and Fabien Castel. These lean firmly toward the fresher, elegant end of the spectrum, yet I always find the wines to have wonderful depth of fruit, terrific balance, and singular characters." (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.