RN Estate Solomon Hills Vineyard Vertical

Solomon Hills Vineyard RN Estate Solomon Hills Vertical

While exploring our wine-cellar[1] this afternoon, we were pleased to discover two bottles of the RN Estate Solomon Hills Vineyard (Santa Maria Valley). The vintages were 2011 and 2012. Forthwith, our RN Estate Solomon Hills Vineyard vertical tasting.

The 2011 ($55, two bottle limit) is the more approachable of the two. In a word, this wine is “pretty.”  Aromas of black cherry and strawberry lead into Asian five-spice and more black cherries on the palate. The finish is slightly spicy with lingering silky tannins.

The 2012 ($49) needed to breathe a bit to open up. (If you are lucky enough to have a bottle or two, I’d advise waiting another year, at least.) Aromas here are more consistent with what we call “desert,” creating images of sand and tumbleweeds. But the palate is an explosion of delectable fruit with just a hint of tobacco. There is also a very small hint of spice on the finish with more smooth tannins.

The Vineyard

The Solomon Hills Vineyards takes its name from its neighboring hills named for Salomon Pico, a celebrated bandit who in the 1850’s traveled frequently along the stretch of El Camino Real that is known today as Santa Maria Valley. Pico’s life was so colorful that it is believed by many to have inspired the legend of Zorro.

The Solomon Hills Vineyard was developed in the late 1990s. It is located on a western slope of the Santa Maria Valley, adding a more pronounced ocean fog influence to the terroir. The soil is sandy loam, reflecting the sea that once filled the valley. This vineyard is near the justly-famous Bien Nacido and Sierra Madre plots.

But, of course, the name must have a story →

We hope the partnership between Roger Nicolas and the Solomon Hills team continues for many years.

[1] OK, it’s really just a couple of wine racks in the garage with a portable air conditioning unit for summer use. We can call it whatever we want.

About the author

Tony Lima has been a California wine fan since arriving in California from the east coast in 1974. He's lived the growth and expansion of the industry first hand. He's seen the fickle California Wine consumer fads pop up and burst... the craze for Zinfandel, then oaky Chardonnay, then Merlot, now Pinot Noir. His day job was Professor of Economics at California State University located in Hayward. (He retired in 2016.) His undergrad degree in chemical engineering (MIT) and his MBA ( Harvard) and Ph.D. Economics (Stanford) are the root of his interest in the Business of Wine. He is a card-carrying member of the AAWE - American Association of Wine Economists.

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