2018 Ojai Vineyards Syrah Santa Barbara
Adam Tolmach founded his own label, Ojai Vineyard in 1983, along with his wife Helen, but continued as a partner in Au Bon Climat until 1991. Tolmach’s initial vintage consisted of a small amount of Syrah produced at Au Bon Climat. The next year he built a winery in Oak View, near the town of Ojai in Ventura County on land that was left to him by his grandfather. All production has originated here since 1984. Pinot Noir was added to the lineup in the early 1990s, initially sourced from Bien Nacido Vineyard. Through the years, Ojai Vineyard has acquired a cult winery status do its small production and exclusivity. Most of the Ojai Vineyard wines are vineyard-designated originating from Tolmach’s long term relationships in which fruit is bought by the acre.
The varietal fragrance is striking and pungent - the nose provides a complex profile of incense and pepper, suede leather, balsamic and violets - while a deep core of mocha cherries and plum promises rich pleasure for the mouth. It works out that way, too. The palate is suave and easy, with front-loaded fruit that glides into savory notes of olive and peppery charcuterie. This wine is always one of Ojai's best bargains, but this bottling is just thrillingly good Syrah for the price.
Jeb Dunnuck 90
Always terrific, especially at the price, the 2018 Syrah Santa Barbara County is ideal for those who love cool-climate Syrah with a kiss of California fruit. Pretty blackberry, strawberry, peppery, and bay leaf/foresty notes all emerge from the glass of this medium-bodied red, which has a classy, balanced texture, a kiss of salinity, and outstanding length.
USA, California, Santa Barbara
77% Syrah, 10% Grenache, 3% Barbera
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Bottles are in perfect condition.