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Vineyard: Bien Nacido

OwnerMiller Family
AppellationSanta Maria Valley
VarietiesChardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, Syrah

Articles mentioning wines produced from this vineyard

Reviewed wines produced from this vineyard

2011 Deovlet Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., 100 cases, $45. From two blocks planted 30 years apart. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of dried cherry, cranberry, wet stones and dried herbs lead to a full palate of tasty dark cherry and plum fruit wrapped in firm, dry tannins. Spice, herbs and oak in the background add layers of interest and the finish offers enough pleasure to draw your attention. Score: 89. Reviewed January 20, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Twomey Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., pH 3.48, TA 0.58, $54. Released September 14, 2013. From organically farmed hillside plantings including Block N, one of the original 1972 plantings of the Martini clone on its own roots. Aged 13 months sur lie in 58% new and 42% once-used French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. A number of aromas jump out of the glass, including black cherry, black currant, baking spice and toasty oak. Sleek and satiny on the palate, with flavors of red cherries, raspberries, pomegranates, cola and vanilla. The modest fruit concentration is buoyed by gossamer tannins and juicy acidity. Score: 89. Reviewed October 11, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Sandler Wine Co. Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., 2nd bottling from this vineyard. Pommard clone. · Medium reddish-purple hue in the glass. Beguiling array of dark stone fruits and berries on the nose accented with cardamom spice. Broad flavors of fresh dark berries with enough tannin to keep the wine in line. A toasty oak accent is complimentary. A seamless wine showing presence without weight. Still terrific two days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle demonstrating potential age worthiness. Reviewed April 4, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 The Ojai Vineyards Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., $29. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas and flavors of black cherry cola and black raspberry in a mid weight format. Noticeable toasty oak and a green herbal undertone are evident. Surprisingly mundane considering the source. Decent. Reviewed June 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Longoria Lovely Rita Sta. Rita Hills Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.66, TA 0.53, 360 cases, $32. A blend of 94% Fe Ciega Vineyard and 6% Bien Nacido Vineyard. Fermented in both the Ganimedes fermenter and open top fermenter. Aged 11 months in 20% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Complex aromatics featuring scents of dark red raspberries and cranberries, spice, tea leaf, wet leaves and potpourri. Lighter weighted, but charming dark red berry flavors with supporting toasty oak. A wellrounded offering with nicely proportioned tannins and easy drink ability. Ready to drink now, but will last a few years. Good (+). Reviewed February 22, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Au Bon Climat Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Barbara Historic Vineyard Collection, Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $40. · Medium reddish purple color in the glass. Aromas of wild raspberry, dried herbs, and rose petal. The wine is lean and somewhat tart, but pleasing, with flavors of red cherry, raspberry, savory herbs, spice and nutty oak. True to the ABC style with demure extraction, gentle tannins and fresh acidity, all in admirable balance. Score: 90. Reviewed January 20, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Gary Farrell Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.38, TA 0.724, 483 cases, $44. Released May 2012. Sourced from the legendary “Q Block,” considered the most prestigious Pinot Noir block on this famous vineyard. 100% de-stemmed, aged 8 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Shy, but pleasant aromas of black cherry, raspberry and baking spice. Noticeably intense flavor of steaming, fresh black cherry tart fresh out of the oven slathered in French vanilla creme. Finishes with a hint of Hoison sauce, herbs and classy oak. Like all the Gary Farrell Pinot Noirs in this vintage, the balance is spot on, guaranteeing the potential for mid to long-term cellaring. Score: 92. Reviewed July 21, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Flying Goat Cellars Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., pH 3.53, TA 0.59, 148 cases, $50. Released September 29, 2012. Inaugural vintage from this vineyard. Old vines in Block N, Martini clone. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is lacking in fruit, offering aromas of spicy oak and conifer. Mid weight dark red berry fruit has an herbal undertone. Juicy and pleasant with good balance, but not exciting. Just not enough going on in the glass to bring you back. Unchanged the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Score: 87. Reviewed September 5, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Twomey Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.63, 1,100 cases, $50. Released September 29, 2012. The backbone of this wine comes from Blocks 1, 7 and 9, all organically farmed hillside plantings. This is the first vintage that grapes were obtained from Block N, one of the original 1972 plantings of own-rooted Martini clone. Aged 15 months sur lies in 35% new and 65% once-used French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Demure aromas of dark red cherries and berries with hints of rose petals, spice and underbrush. Moderately rich with an array of red and black berry flavors supported by svelte tannins and lifted by bright acidity. Elegant and soft in the mouth, with an impressively long, crisp finish. Much more expressive and enjoyable the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle showing hi-tone aromas of cherries, exotic woods and spice. Will need the most cellaring of all the 2010 Twomey Pinot Noirs, but will be well worth the wait. Reviewed October 2, 2012 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Gary Farrell Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.38, TA 0.724, 483 cases, $55. Released May 2012. Sourced from the legendary “Q Block.” Aged 8 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple hue and clear in the glass. Hold on to your seat when you taste this one. Aromas of dark red cherries and spice leap out of the glass. Clean and juicy on the palate with middleweight flavors of well-ripened cherries and raspberries, set off by the signature peppery spice of this region. Finishes with plenty of verve. Exceptional. Reviewed March 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Longoria Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., pH 3.58, TA 0.58, 150 cases, $45. 100% de-stemmed, 4-day cold soak, inoculated fermentation, 18 days on skins, aged 10 months in 30% new French oak barrels. Lightly fine and filtered. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of brier, sage, coffee and mocha. Long in the mouth with tasteful darker berries and cherries that are dominated by oak-driven flavors including coffee and mocha. Smoothly textured with moderate ripe fruit tannins. A little fruitier the following day but still sporting prominent coffee flavor from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Oak should integrate with cellaring, but at this time I can only rate the wine as Decent. Reviewed July 1, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Twomey Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.49, TA 0.57, 1,100 cases, $50. Sourced from blocks 1, 7 and 9, all organically farmed. Aged 15 months in 35% new French oak barrels. · Both fruity and savory scents highlighted by aromas of strawberries, raspberries, and fresh cut herbs, with accents of sandalwood and oak vanillin. Strikingly flavorful on the mid palate with generous amounts of layered red fruits flooding the mouth, yet light on its feet with an appealing elegance. Plenty of vim and vigor, smooth as silk, with a lively grip of acidity, and some impressive length on the pleasing finish that makes you want to take another sip. This wine is a love letter from heaven. Reviewed April 11, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Tantara Bien Nacido Vineyard Old Vine Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., pH 3.50, 167 cases, $48. Own-rooted Pommard 4 clone planted in 1973 (G Block). Average yields 1.9 tons per acre. 80% de-stemmed. Aged 16 months in 30% new French oak. · A spirited nose offers flamboyant aromas of black cherries and spice box including star anise. The wine pumps out the aromas consistently over time in the glass. Tasty core of plum, black cherry and dark berry flavors with an appealing spice and earthy undertone. This wine literally tastes like the earth in which it is grown. Veers slightly to the ripe side but does not cross the line. Moderately rich with a smooth mouth feel, supple tannins, and a clean finish. Bien Nacido Vineyard at its best. Reviewed March 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2008 Chanin Wine Company Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

12.9% alc., 200 cases,, $50. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromatically intense with well oaked, crushed cherry perfume. Lighter in weight and red fruited with supportive oak in the background. Simple and straightforward with soft tannins and a lingering cherry-driven finish. A wine for those that embrace oak and prefer delicacy and restraint. Good (+). Reviewed November 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Kynsi Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc.. · Enticing aromas of rose petals and fresh berries. Appealing savoriness on the palate with a smooth texture and impeccable balance. Good. Reviewed April 8, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Lane Tanner Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 295 cases, $33. From N Block (Martini clone on its own rootstock planted in 1973). Back label says, “Laugh More-Flirt Often.” · Appealing intense aromas of blackberries, raspberries, plums, raisins and herbs. Tasty earth-dusted berry flavors with pepper in the background. There is a slight roasted quality to the fruit. Alluring richness, smoothly textured, with a tenacious persistence on the finish. Lane Tanner Pinot amped up a notch. Not as expressive as it will be but great cheekbones now. Reviewed July 9, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 The Ojai Vineyard Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $37.40. · Really lovely dark garnet color in the glass. Very pleasing scents of spiced berries and cherries, with some brier patch, herb garden and subtle oak char. A middle weight offering purple fruits with hints of loamy earth, savory herbs and white pepper in the background. A bit linear but has plenty to recommend including a good spark of acidity on the moderately persistent finish. If you haven’t tried Ojai Vineyard wines lately, you should. A few years back, the Pinot Noirs were styled in a high alcohol, high extraction, Syrah-like fashion but winemaker Adam Tolmach has scaled everything back emphasizing the nuances of Pinot Noir that come with restraint and moderation. Very good. Reviewed February 15, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2006 Sanctuary Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 1,853 cases, $30. Crafted by Fetzer winemaker Dennis Martin who has worked with the Miller family, owners of Bien Nacido Vineyard, since 1985. This is Martin’s private label produced at Fetzer’s winery in Hopland. · Moderately light garnet color. Needs air to open. Earth kissed berries and cherries which are bright and focused augmented by hints of earth, herbs, oak and petrol. Supple tannins make for pleasant drinking. Much better when re-tasted later in the day from a previously opened bottle. I would suggest decanting if you choose to pop a cork now but patience for another year or two will be aptly rewarded. Reviewed May 7, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2006 Lane Tanner Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 460 cases, $33. Sourced from Bien Nacido N Block, Martini clones on their own roots planted in 1973. · Riper, earthier scents showing darker fruits and a little pepper. Plenty of lush dark Pinot fruits complimented by a touch of oak char and nicely balanced with fine tannins and reserved acidity. A memorable black raspberry kiss persists on the finish for more than ten seconds. Old vines, an accomplished winemaker and the result is pure Pinot pleasure. This one will be fine over the long haul. Reviewed May 7, 2008 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2006 Owen Roe Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $36. A Santa Maria Pinot Noir from an Oregon producer. Sourced from Bien Nacido Vineyard. The winemaker is David O’Reilly, one of the few Irish born American winemakers. The image of an old Mission Church along El Camino Real in California is on the label. Aged in used barrels. · Deep purple color. The nose is brooding with ripe plum, fig and barnyard aromas. Plentiful ripe black fruits drifting toward Syrah in heft and flavor profile. Full-bodied and smooth in texture. A big fruit-driven wine that lacks Pinot charm for me, but is the current preferred style of this winemaker. Reviewed March 3, 2008 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2006 Alta Maria Vineyards Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 2230 cases, $45. 100% Bien Nacido Vineyard, composed of clone 115 fully de-stemmed from N Block and Pommard clone partially whole cluster from Q Block. Final blend 25% whole cluster. Aged 11 months on original lees in 70% new French oak. · Aromas of black cherry and smoke lead off with a black cherry backbone buttressed by anise and oak spice. Silky in texture, fine-grained tannins and a fruity and aromatic finish that last 30 seconds. Plenty to like in this wine and recommended. Reviewed March 3, 2008 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2006 Foxen Winery Block 8 Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., 480 cases, $54. Primarily Wädenswil with some Dijon 115 and Pommard. 100% whole berry de-stemmed, 4-5 day cold soak, 10-14 day active fermentation with punch down twice daily, partial lots undergo extended maceration for 30 days. Aged 16 months in 60% new French oak barrels. Bottled without fining or filtration. · The flavors trump the nose at this time. Rather subdued aromas of dark fruits, tobacco and fresh veggies. Intense and ripe dark raspberry flavor. Very smooth in the mouth with supple tannins and a mildly tart citric finish. This wine almost seems like a Pinot Noir in Rhone clothing. I like it for its individuality. The wine improved from the opened bottle later in the day indicating a long life ahead. Reviewed January 1, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2006 Ambullneo Bien Nacido Vineyard Block One Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

135 cases, $119. Old Bien Nacido vines on shallow soils which yield only 1.75 tons per acre. Mt Eden clone. Greg likens it to a Musigny. · Very dark ruby in color and the deepest colored wine in the lineup. The nose is flat, grapey and funky, withholding the charm to come. The attack is beefy and gamy with prodigious truffled dark Pinot fruits. The massive fruit is front and center, and although muscular, the mouth feel is soft and the tannins well integrated. Greg loves this one. This is a wine that demands sipping and contemplation and like Musigny, needs a number of years to round out.. Reviewed March 3, 2008 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2005 Alta Maria Bien Nacido Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

Just fine in every way and will gain in stature with a little aging. Seductive fruit with fine sweet tannins and excellent length. Reviewed March 5, 2007 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2005 J.Wilkes Bien Nacido Vineyard Block Q Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

Jeff shoots for an understated style of Pinot Noir that shows exemplary finesse and balance. Plenty of nice red fruits, spice and herbs here in a graceful wine of great charm. Reviewed March 23, 2008 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2005 Martin The Salamanaczar Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc.. A winemaker’s reserve wine from Dennis Martin who is the winemaker at Fetzer Vineyards. He also crafts small quantities of Pinot Noir under the Sanctuary label from Bien Nacido Vineyard. Fruit for this wine is 71% Solomon Hills Vineyard and 29% Bien Nacido Vineyard. · A darkly-hued, mysterious Pinot Noir that begins with a nose of dark fruit, toast, char and wet oak. Black cherry, mushroom, and cola flavors dominate. A powerful and strong-boned wine that is yet soft in the mouth. Reviewed November 20, 2007 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2005 Five Rivers Central Coast Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $13. The winery's name, "Five Rivers," comes from the five major rivers that define the essence of the Central Coast of California: San Benito, Salinas, Santa Maria, Santa Ynez and Sisquoc rivers. This label is a member of the Brown-Forman lineup of wines. Winemaker Steve Peck chooses grapes from several Central Coast vineyards including Bien Nacido, Premier Coast Vineyards, Laetitia and Zabala. Winemaking is traditional for Pinot Noir, with aging in 20% new French oak for one year. Clones include Pommard 4 and 5, Dijon (several), and 2A. · Aromas are sweet with Jolly Rancher cherry and floral notes leading to a bounty of dark berries, sandalwood and earth flavors. A medium-bodied wine with a soft texture and a clean finish. Great with fresh gazpacho. A very drinkable Pinot Noir that is true to the varietal. Reviewed September 5, 2006 WINERY »

2005 J. Wilkes Bien Nacido Vineyards Pinot Blanc

14.1% alc., 600 cases, $18. The grapes were machine harvested at night and pressed without de-stemming. Cold fermentation ensued and the wine was aged sur lies. · An excellent wine which is notable for its tropical flavors. Clean and crisp, this would make a perfect aperitif.. Reviewed August 24, 2007 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2005 Bernardus Bien Nacido Vineyards Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 99 cases, $25. Sourced from two different blocks containing Pommard and 2A clone. Aged in 60% new oak. · Very nice garnet color. Heady aromatics of cherries, cola and spice. Nicely balanced with racy red fruits, supple tannins and palate-cleansing acidity. My favorite wine in this Pinot Noir lineup. Reviewed August 24, 2007 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2005 Lane Tanner Bien Nacido Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 264 cases, $30. The back label says, “When are we going to live, if not now?” Sourced from 30 year old vines in the Bien Nacido Vineyard (almost as old as Lane). · This Pinot has a really nice perfume of ripe cherries, cassis and toast. The wine has more backend power than the wine above with a sexy cherry kiss at the end which lasts an eternity. Very nicely composed and balanced. Who says great Pinot Noir can’t be made at 13% alcohol? I have seen the Chapel of Love and it is good. Reviewed March 27, 2007 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2005 Lane Tanner Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

$30. · This wine won’t bowl you over with fruitiness but offers impeccable balance and fine-grained tannins. The wine is uplifted with bright acidity and is refreshing to drink. Reviewed July 30, 2007 WINERY » ARTICLE »

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2005 Lane Tanner Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

13.0% alc., 264 cases, $30. · The back label says “When are we going to live, if not now?” She has that right. This wine has a very nice perfume of ripe cherry, cassis and toast. There is plenty of backend power and a great sweet cherry kiss at the end that lasts and lasts. The whole package is nicely composed and balanced. What a novel idea - a California Pinot Noir with 13% alcohol - you can drink a couple of glasses without getting sideways. Not for Cabophiles or lovers of FrankenPinots. Reviewed March 5, 2007 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2005 Lane Tanner Julia’s Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 375 cases, $33. · This is the richest wine of the lineup but still has lively acid for balance. Decant this wine or wait an hour after pouring a glass or you will be cussing Lane that she sold you a bill of goods! Once it flowers, it offers an attractive nose of plums and currents with a plump mouth feel and a fruit and herbal finish. A little alcohol peaks out on the nose with time. I would drink the above two wines and cellar this busty one for later enjoyment. Reviewed March 27, 2007 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2005 Kynsi Winery Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $36. Kynsi is a small family winery located in the Edna Valley appellation of San Luis Obispo owned by Don and Gwen Orthman. Pommard and Martini clones. · Dark reddish-purple in color. Sensual aromas of black cherries, blackberries, violets and oak toast. Nicely composed red and black fruits with subtle overtones of oak, savory herbs and that signature Bien Nacido white pepper. Impeccable balance and a clean finish. This remarkable wine seduces rather than overpowers with tender, lithe and captivating flavors. This one was kissed by an angel. Reviewed November 17, 2008 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2005 Row Eleven Wine Co Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

15.3% alc., 800 cases, $36. Founded by Richard de los Reyes (“Ricardo D” to his colleagues) several years ago, the name comes from searching for the best rows from the best blocks from the best vineyards. Row Eleven is a unique Multi-Alternating Proprietor or MAP that utilizes several winery facilities, each specializing in a particular variety, in contrast to having one central facility to process grapes. The finest vineyards are then linked to these specialized wineries. Reyes crushes only the best rows, uses whole berries and ferments 10° cooler than most other winemakers. His style is fruit-forward. The grapes for this wine are from the Bien Nacido Vineyard, Dijon clones 115, 667, 777 and Pommard. · Darker fruits, particularly black cherries run through this wine from start to finish. The demurely presented fruit has plenty of finesse and the alcohol, which is nicely integrated, creates a sweet note and a velvety texture. Reviewed December 16, 2007 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2005 Sanctuary Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., 1,800 cases, $36. · I was taken by the gorgeous deep ruby color of this wine. The nose is earthy and filled with decomposing wet leaves. The dark stone fruits create a weighty mouth feel, and earthiness, cigar box and toasty oak add intrigue. Like the 2004 vintage of this wine, this a very distinctive Pinot which is a treat to drink. Reviewed April 30, 2007 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2005 Alta Maria Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 2040 cases, $37. Bien Nacido Vineyard N Block and Q Block. · Dark purple in color. Fruit, fruit and more fruit. A luscious core of sweet dark Pinot fruits from start to finish. Everexpanding voluptuous flavors which seem to never end on the tangy and lengthy finish. Brilliantly crafted and everything you could hope for in a California styled Pinot Noir. I could sip this one all night long. Reviewed November 12, 2007 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2005 LaZarre Hahn Estates Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 275 cases, $50. Adam LaZarre is a former Navy radar specialist who developed a fondness for wine while in the Navy. After his college training at Fresno State, he was brought on board at Hahn Estates in 2001 to revamp and revitalize the brand. He quickly brought the Hahn Estates lineup of wines many accolades and along with Paul Clifton, he proceeded to develop the wildly successful Rex Goliath brand which sold to Constellation Wines for $30 million dollars. The two of them then went to work developing the Cycles Gladiator label. LaZarre produces a small amount of two Pinot Noirs under his own name with grapes sourced from Bien Nacido Vineyard and Sierra Madre Vineyard. · Complex scents of cherry, oak, cardamom, and iodine. Plenty of sweet and racy red Pinot fruits with plenty of lift and lively acidity on the finish. A great food wine. Reviewed December 16, 2007 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2005 The Ojai Vineyard Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., $50. The grapes come from Block Q widely planted to UCD 13 clone. · Focused scents of ripe and dark red berries, wood and spice. Powerful core of dark berries and cherries with a tug of earthiness and thick oak. The tannins are well-corralled, the mouth feel is soft and the finish has both an appealing tang and unappealing touch of astringency. Reviewed January 1, 2009 WINERY » ARTICLE »

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2005 J. Wilkes Bien Nacido Vineyard Q Block Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 172 cases, $60. I have thoroughly enjoyed Jeff’s Pinot Noirs since the first releases, but I must admit that this may be his best to date. Jeff focuses refined aromatics, soft textures, and overall elegance and this wine hits the mark on all three. · The nose is complex with fruit, violets, smoke and spice leading to dusty red cherry spiced fruit and touched off by refined acidity on the lengthy finish. This is the stuff Pinot dreams are made of. Magnums are available for the first time as well. The 2004 vintage of the same wine needed more bottle age and will be released along with the 2005 within the next several months. Reviewed March 5, 2007 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2004 Trou de Bonde Bien Nacido Vineyards Pinot Blanc

14.2% alc., 605 cases, $17. Cooperage included a mix of 70% stainless steel, 15% new French oak, and 15% neutral French oak. · A more Alsatian interpretation of Pinot Blanc compared to the California-styled Wilkes’ bottling. More body and viscosity, with notes of green apple and petrol. This wine paired perfectly with King Salmon, heirloom tomatoes and a fennel horseradish vinaigrette. Reviewed August 24, 2007 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2004 Villa Mt Eden Grand Reserve Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

2400 cases, $22. A steal from a Napa producer known more Chardonnay and Cabernet. The winemaker is Mike McGrath. The wines are distributed to fine wine stores. · This Pinot is heavenly scented with red stone fruits, pomegranate, mocha and toast. The flavors are rich and complex highlighted by exotic spices and earthy red fruits. There is a solid backbone of acidity and tannins. Reviewed January 22, 2007 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2004 Byron Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 17,609 cases, $25. A blend of grapes from the Nielson Estate Vineyard (90%) and Bien Nacido Vineyard (10%). Aged 10 months in 25% new French oak barrels. · This wine has a pleasurable perfume of raspberries, plums and oak. The flavors feature darker fruits enhanced by notes of leather and oak. An elegant, silky styled wine with a nice little cherry kick at the end. The tannins are well-integrated. Cellaring for six months should mellow the oak flavors. A solid daily drinker. Reviewed June 19, 2006 WINERY »

2004 Lane Tanner Bien Nacido Vineyards Pinot Noir

12,8%, $26. As you can tell by the alcohol level, Lane picks her grapes usually before anyone else, but an alcohol below 13% is a rarity, even for her. The wine is pure N Block (Martini clone planted in 1973 on its own rootstock). 35% new oak. · Lane warns that this wine tastes leaner than other years, but feels it will be long-lived. Her comment is right on as this wine is more austere and tart than the more showy 2005 release. Reviewed August 24, 2007 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2004 Steele Bien Nacido Vineyards Block N Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $26. · Noticeable chocolate in the nose, perfectly fine red fruit flavors, a soft texture and a good food wine. A little shallow on the back end. Reviewed August 24, 2007 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2004 Au Bon Climat La Bauge Au-dessus Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., $30. From the highest planting in the Bien Nacido Vineyard. · Intoxicating nose of fresh crushed cherries. Cherries and cranberry flavors are set off by herbal notes. The texture is soft. Nothing earthshaking, but perfectly fine. Reviewed August 24, 2007 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2004 Sanctuary Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 370 cases, $36. Winemaker Dennis Martin focuses on Blocks N, G and Q from Bien Nacido Vineyard that are planted primarily to the Pommard clone. Aged 15 months in primarily Francois Frèrés oak barrels, 60% new and 40% once-used. · The exotic nose includes cooked cherries, burnt toffee and spice. The flavors remind me of an arugula salad with strawberries and cherries (there is a subtle note of pepper in arugula which is also typical of Pinot Noir from Bien Nacido Vineyard). Lush and voluptuous, but elegant and balanced, this is a complete Pinot of distinction. Impressive debut. Reviewed May 30, 2006 WINERY »

2004 J. Wilkes Bien Nacido Vineyard Hillside Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 300 cases, $38. · An elegant and velvety Pinot that is straightforward. The aromas and flavors feature tart cherries, cranberries, oak and spice. A decent, but shy drink that may need some cellaring to coax out the fruit. Reviewed May 1, 2006 WINERY »

2004 J. Wilkes Bien Nacido Vineyards Hillside Santa Barbara Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 290 cases, $38. · Scents of violets, cherries, woodshed and barnyard. Medium-weighted flavors of cherry and strawberry with spice and pepper and a little woodsy bent. Easy and approachable with svelte tannins. Reviewed March 3, 2008 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2004 Summerland Winery Bien Nacido Vineyard Block T Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 800 cases, $40. The grapes for this wine came from one of the oldest section if vines at Bien Nacido Vineyard, planted to Clone 22 in 1973. Pommard has been added between the old vine rows. An initial cold soak is followed by fermentation in 1.5-ton open-top fermenters using inoculated yeast, punch downs by hand, and aging in 100% Francois Frères cooperage (33% new) for 11 months. · Lovely aromas of cherries and cranberries are duplicated in the flavors with a touch of pepper. Just the right touch of refined acidity. I wanted to nibble on this one. Reviewed May 30, 2006 WINERY »

2004 David Bruce Winery Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

1412 cases, $55. Despite very large production, this Santa Cruz Mountain winery continues to craft very attractive Pinot Noirs. The 2004 David Bruce Russian River Valley Pinot Noir (4996 cases, $40) was also tasted and decent. The wines enjoy widespread retail distribution and are available on the winery’s website at www.davidbrucewinery.com. · This wine has it all: a deep, fruity nose, sweet and juicy Pinot fruits, velvety texture, and a crisp finish. Reviewed January 22, 2007 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2003 Row Eleven Wine Company Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., 1,200 cases, $30. Predominantly Pommard clone from the Bien Nacido and Solomon Hills vineyards in Santa Maria Valley. Aged in primarily 3 to 5-year-old Remond and Francois Fréres oak barrels. · The nose is thick with rich oak and pepper. There is a decent core of dark cherries, but again toasted oak takes center stage. The mouth feel is full and opulent. The finish is slightly astringent with vibrant acidity. The heavy oak influence is surprising given there was little new oak in the élevage. Match with grilled fish and meats. Reviewed April 6, 2006 WINERY »

2003 Stephen Ross Bien Nacido Vineyards Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., $40. · This wine is restrained in style with notable vegetal flavors on the finish. Reviewed August 24, 2007 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2003 Foxen Bien Nacido Vineyards Block Eight Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., 425 cases, $48. This block was planted in 1996 with clones 2A, Sanford & Benedict (Mt. Eden), 113, 115, and Pommard. · A very darkly-colored wine of great intensity. Plenty of sweet, fresh, vivid fruit with power to thrill. A bit of heat peaks out on the finish. Reviewed August 24, 2007 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2003 J. Wilkes Bien Nacido Vineyard Q Block Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

13.7% alc., 215 cases, $48.50. · This wine has a focused nose of fresh baked cherry tart. The elegant cherry flavors are highlighted by oak and a touch of white pepper. Well-delineated but with bracing acidity that may overwhelm some tasters. A dining table performer. Reviewed May 1, 2006 WINERY »

2002 Nicolaysen Family Vineyards Bien Nacido Vineyards Pinot Noir

15.1% alc., 275 cases. This wine is from plantings over 30 years old in the “T” Block of Bien Nacido Vineyard. The unusual clone is 22 (from Beaujolais). The 2002 is the latest release. · Dark in color, rich, ripe, generous and jammy, with potent octane, this is not a wine for the faint of heart. Several tasters loved this wine which I thought smelled a lot better than it tasted. Reviewed August 24, 2007 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2002 J. Wilkes Bien Nacido Vineyard Q Block Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

215 cases, $48.50. · A lovely cherry and floral nose that lingers, leading to a fresh cherry-toned and spicy finish. A very feminine, lip-smacking Pinot. Reviewed May 1, 2006 WINERY »