2013 Byron Nielson Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 1,750 cases, $45. Nielson Vineyard surrounds the winery and is more than just Byron’s Estate Vineyard as it has historical significance as the first commercial vineyard planted in Santa Barbara County in 1964 (and replanted in 2000). Thin sandy loam soils, cooling maritime influence. Dijon clones 114 and 667 and Pommard. 100% de-stemmed, 3 to 5-day cold soak, aged in 100% French oak barrels, 35% new. · Moderately light reddish purple color in the glass. The first impression on this wine is oak as the nose and flavor spectrum is dominated by notes of espresso, caramel and toast. Although only 35% new oak was used, the halo of oak pervades this wine even over time in the glass and when tasted the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Soft and silky in texture, with lovely integration of tannins and acidity, the wine offers a core of black cherry, raspberry and plum flavors, and some finishing power. I gave the wine every chance, but the oak overlay proved too daunting to warrant a higher score. Score: 89. Reviewed April 2, 2016

Winery: Byron Vineyard & Winery
From article: Many Exceptional Pinot Noirs Reviewed