The 2016 Pinot Noir Solomon Hills offers terrific depth and intensity, but it is also a bit reduced, something I am not used to seeing in Ojai Pinots. Even so, the purity of the dark red cherry and plum fruit is striking. The 2016 is a wine of deep intrigue, but it is not anywhere near ready to show all of its cards.
Score: 93+ points -- Antonio Galloni, Vinous, 2018
The Ojai Vineyard began in 1983 with the dream of producing distinctive California wines using traditional wine making practices learned in Burgundy and the Rhone valley. Thirty seven years later, owners Adam and Helen Tolmach, continue to pursue the craft at his artisanal winery in Ojai, California, purchasing grapes from the series of amazing vineyards throughout Santa Barbara county. Adam's quest to bring together European sensibilities of balance and finesse with the exuberant fruit from coastal California vineyards is expressed in the wines he makes today. About 6000 cases are produced each year, divided between 15 bottlings, most of which are vineyard designated wines. The key to producing special wine is in the care taken growing the grapes. There is an inverse relationship between quantity and quality when it comes to grapes, so rather than purchasing theirs by the ton, Adam has long term agreements with growers to buy the fruit by the acre. This lets him culture the vines and thin the crop to his strict specifications, yet allows the grower to receive a fair return. In the winery Adam prefers to watch the development of the wine carefully, while doing as little as possible to them. Experience has shown that the least amount of moving, pumping, fining and filtering is always best. The ultimate objective is to show off the distinctive character of a vineyard site.