Byron Julia's Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014 Front Label
Byron Julia's Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014 Front LabelByron Julia's Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014  Front Bottle Shot

Byron Julia's Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014

  • RP92
  • JD92
  • WE91
750ML / 13.9% ABV
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  • WE93
  • JD93
  • WS92
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4.6 7 Ratings
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4.6 7 Ratings
750ML / 13.9% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Home to Santa Barbara’s oldest Pinot Noir vines, Julia’s Vineyard was first planted between 1970 and 1971 on the site of the original Tepusquet Vineyard. Its location is directly in the path of the cooling ocean wines and fog that funnel through the valley, further extending the hang time and flavor development of these prized older vines. Our 2014 Julia’s Vineyard Pinot Noir displays a complexity not often seen in Pinot Noir. The palate contains familiar bright cherry and floral notes marked by a unique cotton seed signature and tremendous structure for aging. Rich and textured, the finish trails away with a slight touch of smoke.


Critical Acclaim

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RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Showing the house style with its silky, polished, already approachable feel, the 2014 Pinot Noir Julia’s Vineyard offers impressive notes of black cherries, dark raspberry, dried flowers and spice. All from the sandy soils of Julia’s Vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley and vines planted in the 1970s, it was completely destemmed and aged in 40% new French oak, with a good portion of the blend seeing fermentation in barrel. It’s already hard to resist and I see no need to delay gratification.
JD 92
Jeb Dunnuck
More black cherries, leafy herbs, licorice and dried earth notes emerge from the 2014 Pinot Noir Julia's Vineyard, and it's medium-bodied, concentrated and textured, with present tannin. It's a touch more angular than the Sierra Madre Vineyard, yet is also impeccably balanced, lengthy and long. This wine is all from vines planted in the 1970s (all Pommard clones), was completely destemmed and aged 16 months in 40% new French oak.
WE 91
Wine Enthusiast
Baked red plum and mulberry flavors are doused with charred sagebrush and hickory smoke aromas in this bottling from Jonathan Nagy. The palate also shows barbecue-like character, which dominates the energetic raspberry fruit and is appealing in a fall-off-the-bone pork rib way.
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Byron, California
Byron Byron Winery Winery Image

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.

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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.

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RGL50014346_2014 Item# 530495

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