The Ojai Vineyard Rosé is a blend of Syrah, Carignan, Grenache and a splash of Riesling. The grapes were soft-pressed directly into used French oak barrels, and the wine matured there for five months before bottling. In a good large glass (and best, not too cold), the wine is limpid and pale, glowing with delicate gold highlights and flashes of bright coral. White Rainier cherries, wild strawberries, orange blossoms, and sage give way to a mix of fresh orchard fruits, including white peaches and apricots, along with fleeting suggestions of clementine zest, rose hips, and geranium leaves as the wine evolves in the glass. On the palate, the wine is generous; almost creamy, with ripe stone fruit and red berry flavors seasoned with mouth-watering pink sea salt minerality and muted suggestions of wet flagstone, green mint, and thyme.
About this wine producer: The key to Ojai is that Adam Tolmach knows every row in every consequential vineyard in Santa Barbara County, and that he purchases his grapes by the acre, rather than by the ton. In some vintages, that can cost more than twice as much. But it gives him direct control of the vineyard work, and by extension, of the quality of the grapes he buys. In the winery, Adam prefers to intervene as little as possible, allowing each vineyard to express its unique character with detail and clarity. All of which has conferred a sort of cult status on The Ojai Vineyard (when it’s not flying under the radar because of its strictly limited distribution, or because of Adam’s modest, self-effacing personality).