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The Bianchi family has a winegrowing tradition dating back to 1974, when they produced wines from California’s Central Valley. In 2000, Glenn Bianchi purchased 40 acres of vineyards on the east side of Paso Robles and built a beautiful winery and hospitality center on the property. The Paso Robles area has become widely known for the warm-climate grapes that thrive there, but Pinot Noir has only prospered in the western reaches of the Paso Robles AVA, close to the maritime influence of the Pacific Ocean. To produce an ultra-premium Pinot Noir as part of Bianchi Winery’s Signature Selection lineup of wines from purchased grapes, Glenn Bianchi sought out Pinot Noir grapes from the Encell Vineyard at the base of York Mountain in the western Paso Robles area. A second bottling uses Pinot Noir grapes sourced from the Garey Vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley. Garey Vineyard is located on Garey Road, south of the city of Santa Maria and close to Bien Nacido Vineyard. Originally this vineyard was a Mondavi experimental planting and contains multiple clones. For the Bianchi Pinot Noir, low-yielding clone 777 was chosen from the vineyard.
Tom Lane is the winemaker at Bianchi. Tom is a native of Pleasanton, California with 22 years of winemaking under his belt. He studied enology at University of California Davis and did research on the aromatic compounds among twenty clones of Pinot Noir. His winemaking career began at Navarro Vineyards in 1985 and progressed to Concannon before arriving at Bianchi in 2005. He has won numerous prestigious awards including Dan Berger Winemaker of the Year in 1997 and Jerry Mead Winemaker of the Year in 1996.
Bianchi Winery & Tasting Room is located at 3380 Branch Road, Paso Robles. The phone is 808-226- 9922. The wines are sold through the website. The Garey Vineyard bottling is very special.
2005 Bianchi Signature Selection Garey Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir
14.6% alc., $25. · This wine wows you from start to finish. Great scent of fresh, ripe strawberries, raspberries and brown spice. Lovely deep flavors of strawberry jam, Damsel plums, vanilla, root beer, toast and spice. Nice full mouth feel without flabbiness. Balance is spot on. A generous and fruity Pinot that is everything one could hope for. Share this one with your lover. Reviewed March 3, 2008 ARTICLE »
2005 Bianchi Signature Selection Encell Vineyard Paso Robles Pinot Noir
13.6% alc. $27. I recently reviewed and thoroughly enjoyed the Bianchi Garey Vineyard Pinot Noir. This wine, however, is a horse (Pinot) of a different color. · The nose shows off beautiful crushed black raspberries, but alcohol spoils the experience. The wine is a bit tight and flat now and noticeably astringent on the back end. The dark fruits, such as black current, are appealing, and the tannin structure is admirable, but the wine is just not offering a lot of pleasure now. Maybe time will help some, but I fear the balance is off. Reviewed May 7, 2008 ARTICLE »
2004 Bianchi Signature Selection Paso Robles Pinot Noir
15.2% alc., 264 cases, $25. · This is a full-bodied version of Pinot Noir that I rather enjoyed. A deep, dark cherry nose leads to flavors of ripe dark fruits with some soy overtones. Sturdy, saucy and fat, yet well-balanced with good integration of the alcohol. This wine will appeal to those who enjoy "pumped up" Pinot. This wine reminds me of a quote: "Faced with a lush, richly extracted bottle of Pinot Noir, it's tough to argue dogma. It's a little like complaining of a lover that he or she is too beautiful." Reviewed September 5, 2006