Solomon Hills Estate
2015 Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir •Solomon Hills Vineyard
California: Santa Barbara County: Santa Maria Valley
The Mark of Zorro
Umm, did you see where that 2016 vintage of this went? We turned our back and it’s GONE! Like a giant pile of it, HISTORY!
Well, for a continued spirit of chivalry, here’s the same wine, almost, with 1 more year in the bottle adding to the wisdom, and the appeal…
“In Santa Maria Valley readers will find extraordinary Pinot Noirs… top vineyards sites include Solomon Hills …at their best, Santa Maria wines easily compete with the very finest anywhere in the United States. Solomon Hills is a large ranch, and while there is quite a bit of variability throughout the property, there is no question the best sections are the American equivalents of Grand Cru sites. ” - Antonio Galloni’s Vinous
Yes, we feel very confident that even some of the most hallowed Burgundy Crus fall short of this stunning Solomon Hills Pinot made by THE one and only Bien Nacido Vineyards crew. The 2015 vintage earned serious praise - described as “positively stunning” by Galloni in his 93 points review. And somehow, we scored a small allotment for an unprecedented 64% OFF!! This might be our greatest Pinot triumph this year!
Hardcore Pinot fans know Bien Nacido very well. The famous vineyard, labeled a “Top Grand Cru” and “Vineyard of the Year” and “Top 25 Vineyard of the World” owned by the Miller family is ground zero for so many high scoring, ultra-expressive, world class Pinots. How does the Miller family follow up such a massive success? They target a new vineyard with equal, maybe better potential. Enter Solomon Hills, a cool climate vineyard on the westernmost edge of Santa Maria Valley, just miles from the Pacific. They planted it in the late 90s and shortly after a who’s who of Central Coast winemaking lined up to secure their plots. Big names like Paul Lato, Tantara, The Ojai Vineyard, Flying Goat, and Foxen began turning out their own high scoring, high priced Pinots.
So, when the Miller family decides to bring their own Solomon Hills wines into the fold, you know they’re picking the absolute choicest blocks and deploying their world class winemaking team to make something incredible. And wow…mission accomplished! Staggeringly complex, and really quite unlike any Pinot we’ve sold this year. California style meats Burgundian complexity. You know it’s special the moment the aromas hit - meaty, gamy, and showing a “roasted boar” note as one review said, alongside roasted fennel and cinnamon. That carries to the palate where a DEEP core of red cherry and strawberry and extraordinarily complex layers of turned earth, cured meat, forest floor, black tea, iron dust, and baking spices. Truly head-spinning, intellectual stuff!
More PURITY. Class. Depth. Opulence. It’s ALL on full display here and these Pinots flirt with perfection. For the price there’s nothing even remotely close. NOTHING. We urge you to make your move now because we did not get enough of this one.
Just LOOK at all these rave reviews again, and did we mention THAT price for one last time?!!
This too will go fast!
93 Points - Vinous
“It’s hard to know where to start with this set of wines from Solomon Hills Estate. Trey Fletcher has coaxed every bit of potential from the blocks he has set aside at Solomon Hills for the wines he makes for the Miller family. I tasted these new releases twice, several months apart. They were positively stunning on both occasions. Solomon Hills is a large ranch, and while there is quite a bit of variability throughout the property, there is no question the best sections are the American equivalents of Grand Cru sites. Silky tannins and beautifully lifted aromatics give the 2015 Pinot Noir Solomon Hills Vineyard much of its gracious, sensual personality. Medium in body and light on its feet, with soft curves and plenty of allure, the 2015 is all finesse. Sage, tobacco and floral overtones develop with time in the glass, rounding things out nicely. Drink 2020-2030.”
93 Points - Wine Advocate
“The 2015 Pinot Noir Estate reveals a generous and youthfully primary bouquet of ripe cassis, black pepper, red plum and peony, followed by a medium-bodied palate with more evident concentration and mid-palate amplitude, while remaining succulent and savory. This will be excellent after a few years in the cellar. Drink 2020-2033.”
92 Points - Decanter
“From the same ownership and winemaking team as Bien Nacido Estate comes the Solomon Hills Estate Pinot Noir. The 2015 is a deep and masculine showing of this cool site, which sits at the western edge of Santa Maria Valley. Baking spices mix with fennel on the nose, showcasing the herbal quality often found in Pinot Noirs from this AVA. The palate is plush and dense, with a sinewy texture that will take time to soften up. A beautiful wine to let come into itself for a year or two. Drinking window 2021-2031.”
What the Winery Says
- Anthony Avila
- Vineyard manager
- Chris Hammell
- 100% Pinot Noir
- Pommard, 115, 667
- Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara County
- Solomon Hills Estate Vineyard
- Vine age
- Planted in 1999
- 2 tons/acre
- 16 months
- 33% new French oak from Cadus
- 6 barrels made