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Beckon Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard 2016

Pinot Noir from Santa Maria Valley, Central Coast, California
  • WE92
  • W&S92
750ML / 14.2% ABV
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  • WE94
  • W&S94
  • WS90
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750ML / 14.2% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
Dried red cherry, wild thyme, sagebrush and an underlying hint of game show on the nose of this bottling from a vineyard first planted more than four decades ago. The palate is herbaceous at first before delivering flavors of roast pork in a mulberry-thyme sauce.
W&S 92
Wine & Spirits
This is Fetzer’s project in the Central Coast, and the second vintage in a row in which Robert Blue turned out an exceptional pinot from Bien Nacido. It’s an immediate hit of bright red fruit and stemmy peppercorn spice, then it lasts with quiet persistence, lively and substantial in its blood-orange acidity and roseate tannins. Those tannins have a sandy feel, coastal and fresh.
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Beckon
Beckon, California
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Beckon wines are crafted to reflect the extraordinary natural forces of the Central Coast, expressed in two of California’s greatest varieties: Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Beckon wines come from established vineyards in prime locations. The vineyards are sustainably farmed, ensuring that the wines offer consistent quality from year to year.

Master Winemaker Bob Blue crafts Beckon wines to capture the Central Coast’s natural balance in the bottle. Beckon wines truly are an invitation to taste Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from California’s Central Coast, one of the most exciting frontiers of New World winemaking.

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Santa Maria Valley

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A lesser-known but elite AVA within the larger Santa Barbara district, the Santa Maria Valley AVA runs precisely west to east starting near the coast. The valley funnels cool, Pacific Ocean air to the vineyards more inland, allowing grapes a longer hang time to ripen evenly and achieve their full potential by harvest time. Combined with minimal rainfall, consistent warm sunshine, and well-drained soils, it is an ideal environment for grape growing.

Many of the wineries here are small and highly respected, having established a reputation in the 1970s and 80s for producing excellent Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. More recently, Syrah has also proven quite successful in the region. Many vineyards are owned by growers who sell their grapes to other wineries, so it is common to see the same vineyard name on bottlings from different wineries. Bien Nacido Vineyard is perhaps the best-known and most prestigious.

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Pinot Noir

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One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

In the Glass

Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay, not Pinot noir. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Village or Cru level wines. So "red Burgundy" still necessarily refers to Pinot noir.

NDF346445_2016 Item# 467704