2014 Foxen Winery Pinot Noir Solomon Hills Vineyard Sta. Maria Valley

2014 Foxen Winery Pinot Noir Solomon Hills Vineyard Sta. Maria Valley

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A past Wine Access story about 2014 Foxen Winery Pinot Noir Solomon Hills Vineyard Sta. Maria Valley

Rich and massively concentrated on the attack with a luscious core of plum and wild raspberry.

Solomon Hills Vineyard Pinot Noir — Parker Chimes In

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When top winemakers want to craft ultra-ripe Pinot Noirs of exquisite dark-red-fruit concentration, braced by high-toned vibrancy, they come hat in hand to Solomon Hills in the Santa Maria Valley. The vineyard, first planted in the 1990s by the Miller family (owners of neighboring Bien Nacido Vineyard), is the westernmost planting in the AVA. Chilly maritime winds roll in from the roaring Pacific just a few miles away, keeping Solomon Hills among the coolest Pinot Noir sites in the United States. The soil is fine, sandy loam, originally from the ocean floor. Meticulously farmed, the vines in this low-yield site result in BB-sized berries of electrifying concentration and silky elegance.

“I love this vineyard,” declared Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate, in a rave 93-point review of Foxen’s “plump, mouth-filling” 2014 Pinot Noir from this site. Wine Enthusiast chimed in with equal enthusiasm for its Russian-River-Valley-like voluptuousness, matching the 93-point score.

Solomon Hills’ clusters typically awaken to gray skies and fog, then warmed by the hot summer sun before those brisk maritime breezes pick up — only to shut down again during the chilly, coastal night. In the early-arriving 2014 harvest, this climatic script bequeathed to Foxen’s Bill Wathen and Dick Doré some of the richest, most darkly concentrated Pinot Noirs in recent years. The call to pick was postponed well after harvest began at warmer inland sites, giving the tiny crop of small-berry Pinot Noir extra hang-time. At harvest, fruit was richly sweet, even as sugars remained perfectly in check. Acids, as always at Solomon Hills, were bracing.

The “Foxen Boys” vinified at cool temperatures over the course of three weeks and employed a classic barrel regimen: 100% French, 33% new. The wine spent 17 months in barrel and was racked just twice (without pumping). Bottled without fining OR filtration.

The 2014 Foxen Pinot Noir Solomon Hills is deep, dark ruby in color. Intoxicating aromas of wild strawberry and sweet dried cherry, lightly laced with new wood. Rich and massively concentrated on the attack with a luscious core of plum and wild raspberry. Satiny and bracketed by fine, coastal acidity, holding all that opulence in perfect balance.

If you like Pinot Noir lean and earthy, it’s probably best to stay away from Foxen’s dark, juicy 2014 Solomon Hills Pinot Noir. But if your collection includes our favorites from Dutton-Goldfield, Luc Morlet, and Peter Michael, you’ll want to snatch this right up. Matching 93-point scores from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate and Wine Enthusiast. ONLY $49.99 from WineAccess — a brazenly obvious choice for lovers of coastal Pinot Noir.

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About Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir Facts

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Bright red fruit flavors with substantial minerality and earthiness

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