Ojai Pinot Noir 2021, Santa Barbara County, California

The freshness here is striking; aromas of supple flower petals come wafting out of the glass – iris, sweet pea blossoms, a hint of rose. Beneath that you find a medley of high-toned red fruits, all laced with black tea, suede leather, and delicate whole-cluster spiciness. It’s silky and charming, giving flavors of raspberry and sweet cranberry, along with salinity, spice, and a gentle bite of minerally tannins that engage the palate. All together it’s an easy-going package, showing all the immediacy and delicacy that we aim to showcase in this wine. 2021 was a terrific vintage for us in Santa Barbara County. While many other parts of the state were quite hot that year, our area remained anomalously cool and foggy. Fog is a major component of classic Santa Barbara County vintages, but it was more persistent than usual in 2021, and downright milky at times. All of our Pinot Noir was picked about three weeks later than in 2020. The most coastal vineyards in this blend, Presqu’ile and Puerta Del Mar, were entirely destemmed. Kessler-Haak and Fe Ciega were fermented with a fraction of whole-clusters. After being pressed and racked to barrels, the wine aged on fine lees for 9 months and saw no sulfur until a minimal amount was added before bottling.