Thursday, November 25, 2010

Tasting Notes from Ojai: Old Creek, Vino V, and The Ojai Vineyard

Following up on my last post on Vino V Wines and Old Creek Ranch, here are a few highlights of what we tasted. This is not a comprehensive list. Just a few favorites and noteworthy wines.

We also visited The Ojai Vineyard's tasting room in downtown Ojai on this trip. This is an historic producer whose winemaker and owner, Adam Tolmach, was among the first handful of winemakers to help realize the potential of Santa Barbara County. Generally speaking I liked the Santa Maria wines more, and the warm climate Roll Ranch wines didn't have the lift and complexity of the cooler climate wines. A few notes are included here as well.

Old Creek Ranch

2008 Grenache Blanc - Decent, but middle of the road. Winemaker Michael Meager commented he wasn't terribly excited about this one, either.

2009 Loureiro - Aromatic, peaches, honey, but very acidic and mineral driven flavors. From Estelle Vineyard.

2009 Albarino - Refreshing, good body, lemon and citrus aromas. From Paragon Vineyard in Edna Valley.

2008 Carignane - Earthy, tobacco, floral, medium body, medium acid. From Camp 4 Vineyard in Santa Ynez.

2007 Cabernet Sauvigon - Very fruity, kirsch, from Branham Obsidian vineyard between St. Helena & Calistoga. Warm climate, fruit-driven Cab.

2007 Santa Barbara County Syrah - Deep fruit & lavender, earth, tannic, long finish,

2007 White Hawk Vineyard Syrah - Meaty, floral, structured, supple, elegant, currants and cherries.

Vino V Wines

2009 Confundida - Floral aromas, nice texture and acidity, unique and brimming with character. 100% Albarino from Estelle Vineyard.

2004 Syrah - Great cool climate Syrah aromas, dense and tannic. From White Hawk Vineyard in Los Alamos.

2006 Syrah - Again, great cool climate Syrah aromas, but a bit more supple. Also White Hawk.

The Ojai Vineyard

2006 Clos Pepe Chardonnay - Santa Rita Hills AVA, intense, mouthwatering, apples, lemons, not super oaky or tropical, a more restrained style.

2006 Solomon Hills Pinot Noir - Feminine Pinot, spicy, red fruits, med body, some earth.

2006 Clos Pepe Pinot Noir - Heavier, earthier, raspberry, meaty/smokey, more tannic, mushroomy, but a distracting raisin aroma is present.

2007 Santa Barbara County Syrah - Pepper and floral aromas, good structure and tannin.

2005 Bien Nacido Syrah - Spicy aromas, dark fruit, tannic, concentrated, great Syrah, should age.

2005 Roll Ranch Syrah - More jammy, fruity, seemed less concentrated, a bit of heat and roasted fruit.

2008 Roll Ranch Viognier Ice Wine - Harvested at 22 Brix, frozen, then crushed. 9% ABV, sweet but still fresh, aromatic with honey, very nectar-like, cryo-extraction seems to capture freshness and intensity (i.e sugar, flavor and acidity).


Matt Mauldin said...

I recently found a bottle of 06 Ojai Fe Ciega Pinot on closeout in Atlanta for under $20.... looking forward to opening today.

Cabfrancophile said...

Awesome! This is Longoria's estate vineyard and he only sells fruit to Ojai aside from making his own wine. It usually makes a pretty big masculine Pinot.

I had a Longoria '06 Fe Ciega recently from 375. It was a bit oxidized and drying out, but hopefully that was more an issue of being in a small bottle with short cork. If your bottle is in good shape, you got yourself a deal!