Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Santa Maria Valley    California   
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Date Printed: 8/22/2014
Byron Nielson Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009
Byron Nielson Vineyard Pinot Noir 2009
(search item no. 108552)

PRICE ON 8/22/2014: $31.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2008 Wine Enthusiast rating: 96 points
2008 PinotReport rating: 93 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2008 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points
2007 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2004 The Wine News rating: 92 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
2002 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2001 Wine Enthusiast rating: 93 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The 2009 Nielson Pinot Noir displays aromas of dark plum, blueberry, cinnamon, clove, and hints of floral and smoke. The flavor profile has a core of dark cherry and dark plum, with hints of brown sugar and allspice. With big, rich tannins, structure and velvety texture, this wine is backed by a long, lingering finish. The fruit for this Pinot Noir came from selected high-density blocks planted to Dijon clones. After harvest, the clusters were hand-sorted and cold-soaked for three to five days to intensify fruit character, color and body. Small batches were processed in 2 -6 ton tanks of which 5% incorporated stem inclusion during the fermentation process. Lots were kept separate until blending to maximize the quality of the blend.
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About Byron:

Byron was founded in 1984 by winemaker Ken Brown. With years of experience as a winemaker in Santa Barbara County, Ken recognized the Santa Maria Valley's potential for great wines in the Burgundian style, and was the first winemaker to introduce Rhone-style grape varieties to the area. The first crush at Byron Vineyard & Winery produced 7,600 cases, and Byron soon gained national recognition for high quality Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

In 1990, the Robert Mondavi family purchased Byron, and Ken Brown became Winemaker and General Manager. He and Tim Mondavi, Robert's son, set about designing the new Byron Winery as an expression of their shared belief in natural farming, experimental viticulture and gentle grape handling. They wanted to eliminate pumping, which shears grape stems, skin and seeds, allows tannins and other harsh elements into the juice and can make wine bitter.

With the aid of noted architect R. Scott Johnson, who designed the Opus One winery in Napa Valley and San Francisco's Transamerica building, Ken designed a multi-level winery that replaces pumping with gravity flow, resulting in more complex, dynamic wines. Byron's vineyards were also expanded and replanted as Ken Brown experimented with trellising systems, new rootstocks and clones, row orientation, and planting density in his quest for the perfect grape.