Byron Nielson Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008 Front Label
Byron Nielson Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008 Front Label

Byron Nielson Vineyard Pinot Noir 2008

  • WE96
  • RP90
  • W&S90
750ML / 0% ABV
Other Vintages
  • WW93
  • RP92
  • WE92
  • WE94
  • RP92
  • WE93
  • RP90
  • WS88
  • WE94
  • WE93
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750ML / 0% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The fruit for this Pinot Noir came from selected high-density blocks planted to Dijon clones. After harvest, the clusters were hand-sorted and cold-soaked for three to five days to intensify fruit character, color and body. Some lots were fermented with native yeasts to enhance vineyard expression. The wine was cellared for 14 months in our temperature and humidity controlled barrel rooms.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 96
Wine Enthusiast
Silky and velvety soft in the mouth, coating the palate with extradordinary raspberry and cherry flavors, enriched with sweet oak, and spiced with cloves, cinnamon and white pepper. There are even notes of cocoa and orange zest. Yet brisk acidity makes it all clean and vibrant. It's hard to imagine a California Pinot Noir tasting better than this-and what a fantastic bargain. Drink now-2014.
RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2008 Pinot Noir Nielson Vineyard, which is produced from Burgundian Dijon clones as well as the old Joseph Swan clone, exhibits plenty of raspberries, black cherries, cola, and roasted herbs in a full-bodied, round, generously endowed style. This is an impressive Pinot Noir to drink now and over the next 3-5 years.
W&S 90
Wine & Spirits
Big and brash up front, this pinot noir has some jazz in its acidity, a firm, lively finish that breathes with black cherry and smoke. The tannins are fine, holding the warmth of the wine in check. Ready to serve with Peking duck.
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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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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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EMP77595_2008 Item# 105040

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