Solomon Hills Estate Pinot Noir 2019
Solomon Hills Vineyard is known to many as the coldest vineyard in the region. The cold ocean wind off of the Pacific whistles directly through the hills, on its way towards the desert. Located only 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean, Solomon Hills Estate's wines always show a special balance between bright and fruity tones, of which California are always know, and more secondary flavors of underbrush, dried florals and damp vegetation. They select a small portion of Pommard clone, planted in 1999, to highlight these less fruit dominated notes. Clones 115 and 667 give the fresh wild strawberry, pomegranate, and raspberry notes of which Pinot Noir from very cold regions is known. The free-draining soils lend to the direct tannins and the balance which comes from these elements is captivating.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
This extremely coastal vineyard, which is the westernmost corner of the appellation, produces unique combinations of aroma and flavor. This bottling’s earthy nose pops with muddled mulberry and muddy cherry alongside both dewy and scorched sage. The palate is hearty and concentrated with rich, roasted plums and berries, spiced by anise and finishing on a mint-sprinkled meat flavor.
Gorgeous nose of just-ripe red fruit, cherry, plum, sage, camphor and bouquet garni. Lifted, edgy palate with aromas following through as lingering fruit and savoury elements. A restrained style, with resolved, ripe tannins and a long finish. This will improve over time for an even more complete package.
Elegant, with a sinewy structure featuring hints of white pepper to the tensile and savory mix of dried red plum and cherry flavors. Sanguine accents on the finish linger with dried floral notes. Drink now
The Solomon Hills Vineyard was planted by the Miller Family in the late 1990's. Known for pinot noir and chardonnay, Solomon Hills found its tenor early on in its relatively young life among a broad range of talented winemakers who found its vibrant, youthful flavor profile exhilarating, and, at times, profound.
The soils of Solomon Hills Vineyards are composed primarily of ocean derived sandy loams. Because it is the western most vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley appellation, it is the coolest of all vineyards in this growing region. With the Pacific coastline only miles away, a constant maritime influence results in wines of precise acidity, bright fruit and an inherent elegance.
The Solomon Hills Vineyards takes its title from neighboring hills named for Solomon Pico, a celebrated bandit who in the 1850's traveled frequently along the stretch of El Camino Real that is known today as Santa Maria Valley.
Santa Maria Valley lies mainly in northern Santa Barbara County, with a small portion of it overlapping southern San Luis Obispo County. It is close to the Pacific, and runs east-west, which means warmer air in the eastern end draws cool air off the ocean in the west, and brings it through the valley. This effect, combined with abundant sunshine, lengthens the growing season. The longer growing season leads to long hang time, which promotes both ripeness and optimal acidity levels in grape berries. As early as the 1970’s, Santa Maria Valley was recognized as being a superior source of wine grapes, certainly including Chardonnay and Syrah. But arguably the top variety here is Pinot Noir.
Originally a domain primarily of growers, including the Miller Family of the justifiably famous Bien Nacido Vineyard, this AVA is now home to over 30 wineries. Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir consistently offers full flavors of cherry, strawberry and raspberry, often accompanied by notes of spice, cola, vanilla and earth. They show impressive balance and elegance, as well as great versatility with food.