Bien Nacido Estate Pinot Noir 2020
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.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
I loved the nose on the 2020 Estate Pinot Noir, which offers a wild assortment of red and black berries, sappy herbs, flowers, iron, and exotic baking spices. These carry to a medium-bodied, concentrated, focused, age-worthy Pinot Noir with beautiful depth of fruit, ripe tannins, and a great finish. Give it a year or two and enjoy over the following decade. I followed this bottle for multiple days, and it only got better. It’s unquestionably a thrilling, brilliant wine. This was all destemmed and spent 16 months in 43% new French oak.
Creamy while detailed aromas of black cherry, loam and slate make for a very inviting and intriguing nose on this bottling. The palate lands with a bold richness, carrying fresh and vibrant flavors of black cherry and blackberry in a hedonistic vintage for this estate.
Brooding and controlled, this wine has a peppery reductive note to go along with tobacco scents. Its translucent red shade is intriguing and pretty, with rosy cherry and strawberry flavors, a flower-petal bitterness and fine tannins. It opens appreciably with air, still reserved and recessive within its cool texture.
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.