Bien Nacido Estate Pinot Noir 2019
Classic Bien Nacido Pinot Noir aromas of cardamom, clove buds, dried brush and black cherry mingle with young wine characters like bubblegum and red licorice. Concentrated on the palate with suave tannins, balanced acidity and a clean long finish. Open this immediately and know the sweetness of the fruit will stay around for decades.
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Moving to the reds, the 2019 Pinot Noir Bien Nacido reveals a deeper ruby, almost opaque hue as well as a killer bouquet of mulled red and black currants, briny herbs, pepper, and wildflowers. It picks up more salinity and crushed stone-like minerality with time in the glass and is medium to full-bodied and flawlessly balanced, with no hard edges and a great, great finish. This pure, ethereal beauty is a “Wow” Pinot Noir as well as one of my favorites in the vintage.
In a stellar vintage, this world-class site creates a world-class wine for its owners, the Miller family. Cinnamon and black cherry are prominent scents that also decorate the palate. Baking spices and brush spread across a layer of rhubarb, cherry, orange peel, and sweet tobacco before light red-tea tannins are joined by salinity on the finish. Aged 16 months in (50% new) French oak and bottled unfined and unfiltered, the wine shows magnificently now and will no doubt be among the classics of the next decade.
Made with about 12% whole clusters, the 2019 Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard is ultra perfumed, with scents of graphite-laced black cherries, orange peel, wood-smoke and bergamot. The medium-bodied palate is gently chalky and very fresh, with energetic, earth-laced fruits and a long, uplifted finish.
Fruit-forward and rich-tasting, with a refined mix of well-knit red currant, damson plum and pomegranate flavors. This has minerally zest on the finish, with underbrush and beef carpaccio accents. Drink now.
In 1969, brothers Bob & Steve Miller, the fourth generation of a Central Coast California farming family, found a piece of land they instantly knew had vineyard potential. Formerly used for grazing, it was part of one of the earliest Spanish land grants. However, the shale soil and unique climate from the transverse mountain range provided a lens into its potential.
The vineyard was planted in 1973. Bob and Steve called it Bien Nacido, meaning “well born” in Spanish, because of the passion and commitment they shared in bringing it to life.
All the wines are naturally fermented, with no sulfur additions until after malolactic has completed. The wines are never filtered or fined, and only the selections which represent the best expressions make it into the bottles.
The original adobe on the property remains as one of the few privately maintained adobes in California.
Santa Maria Valley lies mainly in northern Santa Barbara County, with a small portion of it overlapping southern San Luis Obispo County. It is close to the Pacific, and runs east-west, which means warmer air in the eastern end draws cool air off the ocean in the west, and brings it through the valley. This effect, combined with abundant sunshine, lengthens the growing season. The longer growing season leads to long hang time, which promotes both ripeness and optimal acidity levels in grape berries. As early as the 1970’s, Santa Maria Valley was recognized as being a superior source of wine grapes, certainly including Chardonnay and Syrah. But arguably the top variety here is Pinot Noir.
Originally a domain primarily of growers, including the Miller Family of the justifiably famous Bien Nacido Vineyard, this AVA is now home to over 30 wineries. Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir consistently offers full flavors of cherry, strawberry and raspberry, often accompanied by notes of spice, cola, vanilla and earth. They show impressive balance and elegance, as well as great versatility with food.