While exploring our wine-cellar 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.
[pullquote]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.[/pullquote]
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.
 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.