Ojai White Hawk Vineyard Syrah 2007
Syrah/Shiraz from Central Coast, California
The wine that's made from this spot is as unique as the vineyard looks. An intense but lovely red berry character is followed by an intriguing seaweed-iodine spiciness--this aromatic association exists perhaps because the soil here is an ancient seabed. In any case, it's quite unique. The tannins are copious, but super-fine textured. Being one canyon closer to the ocean than Thompson Vineyard, the climate is just cool enough that we never have to worry about the acidity level of the grapes; there is always a zesty tang to this wine that keeps it lively.
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "The 2007 Syrah White Hawk is round, sweet and harmonious. Plums, smoke, licorice are some of the notes that emerge from this rich, deep Syrah. There is plenty of power and structure supporting the fruit all the way through to the long, persistent finish. This is texturally brilliant and striking. "
International Wine Cellar - "Inky ruby. Pungent aromas of blackcurrant, blueberry and briary herbs, with slow-mounting smokiness. Deeply pitched dark fruit flavors show liqueur-like intensity and become spicier with air. Closes down on the finish, which features fine-grained tannins and a distinct blueberry quality."
Ojai Vineyard Winery
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About Central CoastView a map of Central Coast wineries
The largest of California's wine growing regions, the Central Coast produces the majority of California's wine. The district sprawls out, covering most of the vineyard land between San Francisco and Santa Barbara. Smaller sub-AVAs of the Central Coast include Monterey Bay, Paso Robles, Santa Ynez Valley, Santa Maria Valley, Santa Cruz Mountains and many others.
Notable FactsGrape varieties range from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay to Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel. Some Central Coast wine is generic, bulk wine that contributes to the high production numbers of the area. But many winemakers and wineries, particular in some of the smaller AVAs, are small production artisans, creating unique and high-quality wine. The great thing about the Central Coast is its diversity - you're able to find a number of grape varieties and styles at a number of different price points.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.