Nominally lower in alcohol than the special bottlings above, this wine smells a bit riper owing, in part, to a dried grape, crushed black cherry component to its concentrated, outgoing aromas. Mouthfilling in palate impression and full of ripe, compact fruit flavors tinged with oak and a nuanced note of dried violets, this bold but not overly tannic bottling would seem to want service with long cooked meats like Osso Buco.
($48; from vines planted in 1989; the soil here features more clay and a mixed mineral content and drains well) Good red-ruby. Wild, perfumed aromas of briary black fruits; reminded me of a wine from Morey-Saint-Denis. Dense, silky, fat and sweet, but with very good verve and definition thanks to sound acidity. A broad, mouthfilling pinot that finishes with rather suave, tongue-dusting tannins.
A limited cuvee, there are 225 cases of the 2001 Pinot Noir High Plains. It possesses a deep ruby color in addition to a fragrant bouquet of ripe strawberries, sweet cherries, loamy soil, and a hint of oak. This medium to full-bodied, fruit-dominated, spicy, rich, complex effort should drink well for 7-8 years.
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2013 Solomon Hills "Solomon Hills Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay (Previously $40)