Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Wine of the Week: The Ojai Vineyard 2005 Fe Ciega Santa Rita Hills Pinot Noir!

This week, I'm sharing with you one of my favorite recent Central Coast pinot noirs from The Ojai Vineyard - the 2005 Fe Ciega Pinot Noir!

While many of the California pinot noirs has been blowing up with big fruit and bigger alcohol, in recent years, Ojai winemaker Adam Tolmach has been quoted as saying that even though his wines were getting high scores from Robert Parker, he was no longer enjoying drinking them himself.  So he made the bold move to pull them back and fashion them in a lighter, more Burgundian style.

The results?


When I first tasted the 2005 Fe Ciega over a year ago, I was head over heals in love!  It was such a nice departure from the style I'd grown to associate with California pinot - delicate fruit, lighter body, great balance and finish, a daintier, gentler wine, but still a powerhouse.  I immediately moaned in pleasure and then coaxed Kuzak to order more bottles.  So the other week, we popped another one and, not surprisingly, the wine is still drinking beautifully, with hints of strawberries and tart fruit.

Not surprisingly, while Robert Parker gave the 2005 Fe Ciega 91 points, and a decent but not ecstatic review, Allen Meadows, widely considered the leading expert on pinot noir in the world who runs the subscription-only Burghound website, gave the wine a whopping 92 points (that's a big score from a tough critic). I guess it just proves that wine is all about personal taste, and as far as my taste goes, the 2005 Fe Ciega gets a big thumbs up!  Or maybe that's two thumbs up!  But who's counting?


The Ojai Vineyard makes a variety of whites and reds (they produce around 6000 cases per year from 15 different bottlings) with an array of pricing.  Many of the whites start under $20 and the reds not much higher, so they offer a lot of affordable choices. The 2005 Fe Ciega can be purchased from K&L Wines for $49.99, reflective of its high scores and age.

As always, I recommend visiting Ojai's website and signing up for their list to get the best bargains going forward!


Winery Information:

The Ojai Vineyard
P.O. Box 952
Oak View, CA 93022
(805) 649-1674


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