Alta Maria Bien Nacido Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label
Alta Maria Bien Nacido Pinot Noir 2012 Front Label

Alta Maria Bien Nacido Pinot Noir 2012

  • WE92
750ML / 14% ABV
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750ML / 14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Alta Maria's first Bien Nacido single vineyard bottling in 6 years, this comes from 40 year old, own-rooted vines which are some of the first planted in the Santa Maria Valley. It's 100% Whole Cluster Fermented & Aged 17 months.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
Winemakers James Ontiveros and Paul Wilkins tease awesomeness out of the legendary Bien Nacido Vineyard with this Pinot Noir—and Ontiveros should know how, since he worked for the vineyard for years. On the nose, there’s sea salt, caramel, cotton candy and pepper-teriyaki steak. Although it’s leaner on the palate, it still features ripe raspberries, milk chocolate and sweetened coffee. Cellar Selection.
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Alta Maria

Alta Maria

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Alta Maria, California
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Alta Maria is a small, artisan winery focusing on producing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the cold and oceanic Santa Maria Valley appellation in Santa Barbara County. Founded by 9th Generation California James Ontiveros, and Winemaker and long-time college friend Paul Wilkins, Alta Maria's wines are inspired by the old world regions of France and are classic examples of purity, balance and complexity. We strive to make the best wines possible in a very conscientious manner and employ organic and sustainable practices leaving no indelible mark on the people and places around us.

The name "Alta Maria" refers to the upper Santa Maria River, which James' ancestor, Don Juan Pacifico Ontiveros crossed on Saint Mary's Day, 1855, as he drove cattle from Southern California to his new home at Rancho Tepusquet – now home to some of the globe's most renowned vines. The picturesque river flowing through the valley was the force responsible for sustaining ranch life in those early days.

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The largest and perhaps most varied of California’s wine-growing regions, the Central Coast produces a good majority of the state's wine. This vast district stretches from San Francisco all the way to Santa Barbara along the coast, and reaches inland nearly all the way to the Central Valley.

Encompassing an extremely diverse array of climates, soil types and wine styles, it contains many smaller sub-AVAs, including San Francisco Bay, Monterey, the Santa Cruz Mountains, Paso Robles, Edna Valley, Santa Ynez Valley and Santa Maria Valley.

While the region could probably support almost any major grape varietiy, it is famous for a few. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Zinfandel are among the major ones. The Central Coast is home to many of the state's small, artisanal wineries crafting unique, high-quality wines, as well as larger producers also making exceptional wines.

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Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”

RVLAI12PNBN_2012 Item# 141170

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