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John Tyler Wines

Owner(s) John Bacigalupi, Tyler Heck
Web site www.johntylerwines.com
 
Link to this site
John Tyler Wines

This family owned winery has a colorful history. Charles Bacigalupi grew up in Santa Rosa, California, where his father ran the local market named after the family - Bacigalupi Market. In 1952, after a stint in the service and schooling to become a dentist, he married Helen Long in 1952 and settled in Healdsburg. They purchased the Goddard Ranch, 121 acres on Westside Road in 1956. The land was planted primarily with prunes, cherries and apples, with a few acres of Golden Chaslis, Mission and Zinfandel grapes.

Through his dental practice, Charles got to know a local grape grower, Paul Heck. Paul and his brother Adolf along with Carl Wente had acquired Korbel Champagne Cellars in Guerneville. Charles was interested in expanding his vineyard plantings and Paul advised him to plant Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Paul had a special fondness for Pinot Noir and had named his favorite horse, Pinot. Another patient, Bob Sission, who was the farm adviser for University of California Davis, agreed with Heck's recommendation. In 1964, Charles obtained Pinot Noir and Chardonnay budwood from Karl Wente which had come from France and was planted in a vineyard in Livermore, California. This early planting of Pinot Noir is one of the first in the Russian River Valley.

Today, the Goddard Ranch has 120 vineyard acres and is the oldest ranch that the Bacigalupis farm. This vineyard contains the Chardonnay planted to an old Wente clone that was the main source for the legendary 1973 Chateau Montelena Chardonnay that won the 1976 Paris Tasting.

Other properties include Bloom Ranch (80 acres of Chardonnay acquired in 1973), Frost Ranch (60 acres bought by the Bacigalupi Family in 1990 and the source of the John Tyler Zinfandel and Pinot Noir), and the Alexander Valley Ranch (15 acres purchased in 1983 and planted to Petite Sirah and Zinfandel).

John Bacigalupi was raised on the Goddard Ranch and has a lifetime of grape growing experience. He has teamed with fourth-generation winemaker Tyler Heck to found John Tyler Wines. Tyler's education includes studies in enology and viticulture and Ag business at both Fresno State University and Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. He has worked at several California and Australian wineries.

Pam Heck Bacigalupi is a nurse who assists with the management of Bacigalupi Vineyards and John Tyler Wines. Katherine Bacigalupi was born and raised on the same ranch purchased by her grandparents and has a degree in Agricultural Business from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. She assists in accounting and sales of the John Tyler brand. Twin sister Nicole has a business degree from San Diego State and is actively involved in winery sales and marketing as well as daily winery and vineyard activity. The Bacigalupi twins were instrumental in the building of a tasting room on Westside Rd to showcase John Tyler Wines and are the new face of the family business.

John Tyler Wines offers Pinot Noir and Zinfandel. The John Tyler Bacigalupi Vineyard Pinot Noir has been produced since 2002, with a Bacigalupi Vineyard Wente Clone Pinot Noir and Bacigalupi Vineyard Pommard Clone Pinot Noir offered in 2007. The wines are sold through a mailing list and at the tasting room.

Bacigalupi Pinot Noir grapes are sold to long time buyers such as neighbors Arista Winery and Williams Selyem.

The John Tyler Wines tasting room opened in 2011 and is located at 4353 Westside Rd in Healdsburg (between Twomey and Williams Selyem) and is open daily from 10:30 to 5:00 PM. Private vineyard tours and vertical wine tasting are hosted by the Bacigalupi family by appointment Friday through Sunday (707-473-0115).

Reviewed Wines

2011 Bacigalupi Russian River Valley Chardonnay

$52. 86% malolactic fermentation. Unfined and unfiltered. · Light straw color in the glass. Classic and classy Chardonnay, featuring aromas of lemon, lime, tropical fruits, and banana with a savory hint. Slightly creamy on the palate with crisp apple, pear and citrus flavors finishing with a refreshing juiciness. Got lobster? Very good. Reviewed March 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2009 John Tyler Bacigalupi Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

825 cases, $45. 1-year of bottle age. Release April 1, 2013. · Moderate reddish-purple color and clear in the glass. Very European in style with a savory nose of leaf, herbs, cherries and strawberries. Deep, lip-smacking cherry flavor with a spicy undertone. Impeccable balance and appealing elegance. This is a show-stopper from a superb vintage. Very good. Reviewed March 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2008 John Tyler Bacigalupi Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., 590 cases, $45. Wente and Pommard clones. 3 tons fermented whole cluster, 11 tons crushed. 7-day cold soak, inoculated for malolactic. · Moderate dark red rose color in the glass. Invigorating aromas of perfectly ripe red cherries and red berries, nicely spiced, and complimented by a hint of oak. Very approachable now with a middleweight core of Bing cherry, baking spice, cola and sandalwood flavors. A hint of savory herbs adds interest. Soft in the mouth with moderate tannins and refreshing acidity. This wine is the most fruit-forward of the vintages at this early stage. Very good (+). Reviewed March 21, 2012 ARTICLE »

2007 John Tyler Bacigalupi Vineyard Clonal Selection Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 364 cases, $45. Pommard clone from Frost Ranch. · Medium dark orange-red color in the glass. Very fruity aromatics offering scents of fresh berry tart, black cherries and sandalwood. Moderately forceful and assertive with noticeable tannin, offering flavors of plum reduction sauce, ripe strawberries and black raspberries, grilled beef and spice. Fine now, but could use more time in bottle for optimum enjoyment. Very good. Reviewed March 21, 2012 ARTICLE »

2007 John Tyler Bacigalupi Vineyard Wente Clone Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 418 cases, $45. 100% old Wente selection from Bacigalupi Vineyard at Goddard Ranch. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of dark cherry and berry mash with a hint of rose petal. Vibrant fruit on the mid palate with intense flavors of black cherries, dark berries and cassis, carrying over on the richly endowed and persistent finish. This wine really attracts your attention, offering and retracting numerous fruit and savory flavors over time in the glass. Well structured with moderate tannins, without the power and concentration of the 2005 bottling, but offering more appealing charm and complexity. Will easily last another 10 years. Reviewed March 21, 2012 ARTICLE »

2007 John Tyler Bacigalupi Vineyard Wente Clone Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 418 cases, $45. · Medium reddish-purple hue and clear in the glass. Aromas of very ripe black cherries and berries with a floral accent. Intense flavors of black cherries, black currant and cassis with ripe, full tannins and a savory note in the background. From a bottle opened one day prior. Good. Reviewed March 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2006 John Tyler Bacigalupi Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

689 cases, $48. Not tasted. · Reviewed March 21, 2012 ARTICLE »

2005 John Tyler Bacigalupi Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 675 cases, $50. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Subdued aromas of darker berries and underbrush. Delicious essence of black plum reduction sauce and blackberry jam with hints of anise, grass and oak. A relative bruiser with the fruit still tightly compressed in the potent tannins. Still a Lolita. Much better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Needs several more years in the cellar or decant if you must drink now. Very good (-). Reviewed March 21, 2012 ARTICLE »

2004 John Tyler Bacigalupi Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 558 cases, $52. · Moderate dark red rose color in the glass. Very bright and appealing perfume of fresh crushed cherries, just picked berries with a complimentary hint of oak spice. Soft and silky on the palate with a well-spiced light to medium weight core of Bing cherries highlighted by savory herbs. The structural tannins are evident but not imposing and the bright acidity is uplifting. This wine is drinking beautifully now but balance predicts another ten years ahead. Still fine the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Very good (+). Reviewed March 21, 2012 ARTICLE »

2003 John Tyler Bacigalupi Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 829 cases, $52. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass with slight bricking of the rim. Fresh aromas of raspberries, rose hips tea, fennel seed and even ripe melon. Medium-weight flavors of dark raspberries and cherries with undertones of cola, Chinese 5-spice and dark chocolate. Amazing mouth filling presence with mild fine-grain tannin and remarkable length on the finish. This wine is perfect now, but should have several years of life ahead. Reviewed March 21, 2012 ARTICLE »

2002 John Tyler Bacigalupi Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 826 cases, $58. · Moderately light reddish-purple color with slight bricking of the rim in the glass. Still fresh on the nose with a complex array of aromas including red fruits, spice, loam, old cask, and rose petal. Tasty core of dark cherry and raspberry fruit with secondary characters of fruit leather, tobacco and tea leaves. Still plenty of pleasing fruit on board with mild tannins and an appealing softness in the mouth. A charming wine with a lovely patina that has probably peaked, but will last another five years. Very good. Reviewed March 21, 2012 ARTICLE »