The 2009 Syrah White Hawk is a little more subtle than the Bien Nacido, but, it, too has tons of fruit. Here it is the wine's structure and sheer power that stand out most. Hints of tobacco, new leather and cedar add complexity on the intense finish. Stylistically, the White Hawk places more importance on varietal aromatics than the Bien Nacido, but it also has just a touch less depth in its fruit, which exposes the tannins a bit more. Still, there is a lot to admire in this outstanding, beautifully crafted Syrah. This is a fabulous set of wines from Ojai. Winemaker/Proprietor Adam Tolmach and Assistant Winemaker Fabien Castel hit the ball out of the park with a number of these new releases. Frankly, I am not sure where to start, as there are so many wines here that are worthy of serious consideration. Looking at the 2011 whites, they are the product of a very difficult season marked by a spring frost and windy/rainy conditions during the flowering that lowered yields dramatically... As a consumer, sometimes it feels there are no great values left in California. Ojai is a rare exception. These wines deliver the goods (and then some) yet remain exceptionally fairly priced.
Showing more fruit, with an essence of blackberry, flowers, toasted bread and roasted meat-styled bouquet, the 2009 Syrah White Hawk flows onto the palate with superb purity, medium to full-bodied richness and a seamless, elegant feel. It’s a big Syrah, yet beautifully done. Enjoy it over the coming 7-8 years or more. Drink now-2021+. This was one thrilling lineup of wines by Adam Tolmach and assistant winemaker Fabien Castel and this is always one of my favorite visits during my trip through the region. After making wine for close to 30 years, Adam continues to push for improvement and is subtly tweaking his wines to get more freshness, focuses and elegance out of them. Minimal new oak, low SO2 and few rackings are all the norm here, and these 2009s, 2010s and 2011s are some of the strongest wines I’ve tasted from this estate. They’re all highly recommended.
Opaque purple. Smoky black and blue fruits on the perfumed nose. Ripe, palate-coating cherry compote and blueberry flavors are enlivened by juicy acidity and notes of black pepper and fresh flowers. Weighty but lithe, with excellent finishing clarity, supple tannins and lingering spiciness.
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