JamesSuckling.com - Tasting Report, Santa Barbara County

Edible Ojai - Summer 2011

Steven Tanzer IWC - Nov/Dec 2010

The Rhone Report - Issue #2

Ventana Monthly - March 2009

Burghound - 2005 Pinot Noir, Solomon Hills A notably ripe spicy red raspberry liqueur nose that evidences just a touch of menthol before introducing round, rich, supple and delicious medium-bodied flavors that possess a textured and silky mouth feel and culminate in a moderately edgy finish that also displays a touch of youthful asperity.  Tasted: Oct 01, 2008 Score: 89 Drink: 2011+ Issue 32

Rusty Gaffney’s Pinot File - Small sips of Pinot (2/18/08)

Los Angeles Times - Five great Santa Barbara vineyards to watch (9/5/07)

Los Angeles Times - Tasting panel: Santa Barbara’s terrior (9/5/07)


Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar, Nov/Dec 07

2005 Vino V Wines Pinot Noir Solomon Hills Santa Maria Valley
($48) Medium red. Spicy redcurrant and strawberry aromas are complicated by whiffs of exotic spices and herbs. Tangy red fruit flavors are tightly wound and sharply focused, offering zesty celery seed and rose pastille qualities and impressive cling. Finishes vibrant but sweet, with a lingering white pepper quality and excellent persistence. Pretty fascinating stuff. 91 points

2004 Vino V Wines Syrah White Hawk Vineyard Santa Barbara County
($45) Inky violet. Brooding cassis and boysenberry aromas slowly open to reveal suave baking spices and licorice, along with a sexy floral character. Fat and ripe, with fleshy dark berry preserve flavors, supple tannins and persistent finishing sweetness. A bit youthfully monolithic right now so put this away for another few years. 88(+?)

2005 Confundido Santa Barbara County
($28; a bizarre blend of 80% syrah and 20% pinot noir) Glass-staining ruby. Ripe cherry and boysenberry on the nose, with subtle floral and spice qualities expanding with air. Suave dark berry preserve flavors offer impressive sweetness and a velvety texture. Weighty, sweet and round, with serious finishing cling. I’d have liked a bit more energy but fans of lush, soft, fruit-powered reds will love this. 88 points

Santa Ynez Valley Journal (from 2007 Wine Cask Futures Tasting)- I still wanted to get back to the Sea Smoke table but as fate would have it I was persuaded once again to stop and try something new. To be honest with you I had never heard of Vino V, but a small group of fellow tasters were going nuts in front of their table, and I was lucky enough to notice. The 2005 Solomon Hills Pinot Noir was incredible! It was much different than all the other Pinot’s I had tasted thus far. Dark fruits mingling with creamy vanilla aroused a prominent image of cherry cola. This Pinot was off the beaten path and I loved it.

Cellar Tracker notes 2/2/08- 2004 Vino V Wines Syrah White Hawk Vineyard (USA, California, Central Coast, Santa Barbara County) - 91 pts

Decanted for 2 hours, drank over the next 2 hours. Jet black and inky color, very similar to Petite Sirah. Nose was extremely fragrant, subtle, pleasing. Rich and elegant in the mouth, not overpowering in any aspect, just a smooth balance of fruit, pepper and acidity. I expected this to be a fruit bomb given the color and texture, but it was not. A very good wine that will evolve over time and provide a great deal of pleasure. I really enjoyed this wine! - Blondon

Comments from MB (San Jose, CA) re: 2004 Syrah, White Hawk Vineyard OK I promised to be brutally honest as I think that is what is needed to keep your efforts going forward to greatness. Last Friday night I had the opportunity to attend a reservations only tasting of three supposedly upscale, small production vineyards from Napa and hosted by Bert George of the Joseph George Distributing family. Lot of fine cheese, tasty hors d’oeuvres and a strong knowledge of wine amongst the 50-60 attendees. I probably tasted 12 wines over the course of 90 minutes before I hit tastebud overload. Cabs, Chards, blends and 4 Syrahs from $40-65. Saturday night I opened your Syrah so as to compare the fresh notes I had on my taste buds from the previous night. Without a doubt, no smoke up your butt, both my lady frieind and I felt your Syrah was hands down better than anything we had experienced the night before. It has GREAT fruit, wonderful balance and a lasting finish. Lots of black cherry came to mind. Needs a few years in the bottle, but drinks well now. Probably will peak in 3-5 years. Your efforts compete well with the very best Australian Syrahs I’ve experienced (and they are more spendy). So, by first experience, I am impressed and look forward to trying your other two efforts. I foresee a wonderful future for Vino V.