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Ambullneo

Owner(s) Greg Linn
Web site www.ambullneovineyards.com
 
Link to this site

Ambullneo is the passion of Greg Linn. Greg is a dog lover as well as wine aficionado and the name of his winery reflects that: Ambullneo stands for AMerican BULL Breeds and NEOpolitan Mastiff. Although a partnership with several investors, Greg is clearly in charge and makes all of the critical decisions in the vineyard and the winery. He is fanatical about quality and spares no expense to achieve his goals. A Burgundy lover to the bone, his wines are not Burgundy but are impressive expressions of California Pinot Noir. Expensive yes, but you get your money's worth in the quality.

The Ambullneo winery was located at the Bien Nacido Vineyard in Santa Maria Valley. The wines were on many of the best restaurant lists in San Francisco, Las Vegas and New York. Most of the wine was sold through a mailing list. Ambullneo eventually morphed into Greg Linn Wines and the Ambullneo winery was closed. The last vintage of Ambullneo wines was 2008.

Reviewed Wines

2008 Ambullneo Vineyards Bulldog Pinot Noir

250 cases. 25% whole cluster. · More forward than the 2007 vintage taking on more charm with time in the glass. Plentiful juicy berry and cherry flavors with a touch of spice and pine pitch. Harmonious tannic backbone. Very good. Reviewed March 11, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 Greg Linn Wines Rim Rock Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

60 cases. 100% whole cluster. · Tight aromas of dark fruits, cut flowers and green beans. Chunky and immature, with substantial tannins. The fruit core is delicious and the smooth texture is heavenly. Good. Reviewed March 11, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 Greg Linn Wines White Hills Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Sauvignon Blanc

125 cases, $39. Styled in the image of Didier Dagueneau wines, an iconoclastic Loire Valley winemaker. Raised in oak, 50% MLF. · Bright, juicy and layered pear and citrus flavors, with a discreet richness and backbone ending with a refreshing hi-strung finish. Very good. Reviewed March 11, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 Zito Family Tres Ninos Vineyard Zinfandel

13.2% alc., $49. · A shy nose leads to a delicious fruity core of purple fruits with hints of peppery spices. Uncommonly light on its feet for a California Zinfandel, and easy to drink. Good. Reviewed March 11, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Greg Linn Wines Grangerville Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

300 cases. 100% whole cluster. · A big, intense and concentrated wine which is packed and stacked with beautiful black cherry and blackberry fruit. An earthiness adds interest and noticeable oak offers secondary accents. Still flaunting flamboyant tannins. Very good. Reviewed March 11, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Greg Linn Wines Hudson Vineyard Carneros Pinot Noir

150 cases. 20% whole cluster. · Typical of Carneros, this wine displays more earthiness and animale. The rich core of dark and nicely spiced Pinot fruits really impresses from entry to finish. Very good. Reviewed March 11, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Greg Linn Wines Le Bon Climat Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

100 cases. 100% whole cluster. · Deep, dark color. Very tight but offers hints of greatness. Layers of dark fruits are evident highlighted by notes of Asian plum sauce and black currants. A hint of green tomatoes surfaces on the nose. Showing daunting tannins that will need time to resolve. Good now but will want to revisit in a couple of years when the wine is more open for business. Reviewed March 11, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Greg Linn Wines Rancho Ontiveras Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

150 cases. 100% whole cluster. · A fruit-driven attention-getter with a luscious core of perfectly ripe cherry and berry fruit. Plenty of hi-class booty here. The moderately husky tannins are fine-grained and the finish is lengthy and generous. Very good (+). Reviewed March 11, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Greg Linn Wines Rim Rock Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

100 cases. 100% whole cluster. Clones 115 and 667 planted on their own roots. Greg is the only producer from this site (a “monopole”). · Knock out nose featured macerated wild berries with a hint of spice, herbs and soy. Delicious cherry and berry core wrapped in healthy ripe tannins. Has an appealing exotic riff to the flavorful fruits. Very good (+). Reviewed March 11, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Ambullneo Vineyards Big Paw Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay

200 cases, $49. Crafted in 100% stainless steel. · A big, Chablis-styled Chardonnay with brioche and crushed rock on the nose, and crisp flavors of lemon curd and white stone fruits. Hi-tone acidity. Will give any 1er Cru Chablis a run for its money. Good. Pair with veal, cream sauces. Reviewed March 11, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Ambullneo Vineyards Fang Blanc Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay

250 cases, $49. Aged in 25% new French oak barrels. 100% barrel fermented. · Moderately rich with lovely flavors of white peaches, pear and honey with a supporting note of oak. Very good (+). Pair with white fish. Reviewed March 11, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Greg Linn Wines Grangerville Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay

250 cases, $49. Grangerville is the original name of Santa Maria. Aged in 100% new French oak barrels. · The richest Chardonnay in the lineup with the oak offering caramel and spice accents to the flavors of white stone fruits and creme brulee. Finishes with a refreshing grip of lime peel. Good. Pair with fish with lemon. Reviewed March 11, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Ambullneo Vineyards Bulldog Pinot Noir

400 cases, $69. A cuvée from several vineyard sources and the Ambullneo flagship wine. 100% whole cluster. · Pretty core of berry, cherry and plum fruit with a faint spice box and herbal edge. Restrained tannins and bright acidity. Good. Reviewed March 11, 2010 ARTICLE »

2006 Ambullneo Solomon Hills Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay

13.4% alc., 100 cases. 100% oak fermentation, 80% MLF. There are two other Chardonnays and all three of the Chardonnays are made differently. Fang Blanc (340 cases) has less oak than the Solomon Hills with more acidity. Big Paw (340 cases) is fermented in more stainless steel and neutral oak, again with more acidity than the Solomon Hills. The last two will be better with foods like shellfish, the Solomon Hills preferable on its own or with cream sauces. · Impressive for its perfect integration of oak and lively acidity. Butter aromas and flavors are only hinted at making it a very sexy drink. Reviewed March 3, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 Ambullneo Vineyards Howling Rim Rock Vineyard Syrah

$69. Aged three years in barrel. 25% whole cluster. · Pleasing aromas of dark berries, plum sauce, white pepper and smoky oak. The purple fruits are discreetly concentrated and wrapped in soft, dry tannins. More restrained than many California Syrahs and one that will appeal to Pinot drinkers. Very good. Reviewed March 11, 2010 ARTICLE »

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2006 Ambullneo Canis Major California Pinot Noir

135 cases, $95. Eight barrels from northern and southern California vineyards featured in the Mastiff and Bulldog. 40% whole cluster, 45% new oak. Greg says it recalls a Latricieres Chambertin. · Darkly fruited with a floral lift and a mineral streak, this is an immensely satisfying drink with great Pinot expression that explodes on the palate and leads to a huge, lingering finish. Sturdy yet suave in texture, this wine walks the walk. Reviewed March 3, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 Ambullneo Solomon Hills Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

$95. This wine was bottled as a separate vineyard designate because of the stellar fruit in this vintage. There is more clone 667 and 777 in this wine. · Dark in color, this wine leads off with a nose of dark Pinot fruits with a hint of oak. On the attack it is rich and earthy, with plentiful black cherries, plums, and herbs. There is considerable potential here but time is need for integration. Reviewed March 3, 2008 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 ARTICLE »

2006 Ambullneo Rancho Ontiveros Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

135 cases, $119. Greg’s first 100% whole cluster wine that prompts thoughts of La Tache he says. 50% new oak. This vineyard seems to provide fruit that is perfectly suited to whole cluster fermentation. · This really is a charming wine that is very approachable now. Lovely floral and oak spiced aromas. Complex flavors of black and blue fruits, forest floor, Asian five spice, and toast. Excellent balance and length with a long, chewy aftertaste. A feast and one of my favorites. Reviewed March 3, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 Ambullneo Rim Rock Vineyard Arroyo Grande Pinot Noir

100 cases, $119. A former Syrah 1-acre vineyard that has been replanted to Pinot Noir under the direction of viticulturist Greg Phelan. Greg says think Clos de La Roche. · I had difficulty getting a handle on this one. There is no doubt that there is a mass of dark fruit here but it is hidden and brooding. Earthy, tight and unwelcoming at present, there is noticeable tannin to shed. Good acidity indicates a long life ahead. Reviewed March 3, 2008 ARTICLE »