Byron Nielson Vineyard Pinot Noir 2013 Front Label
Byron Nielson Vineyard Pinot Noir 2013 Front Label

Byron Nielson Vineyard Pinot Noir 2013

  • WE94
  • RP92
750ML / 14% ABV
Other Vintages
  • W&S90
  • WW93
  • RP92
  • WE92
  • WE96
  • RP90
  • W&S90
  • WE93
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3.6 13 Ratings
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3.6 13 Ratings
750ML / 14% ABV

Winemaker Notes

This wine is a combination of Dijon and Heritage clones planted in sandy soils on Byron's estate Nielson Vineyard. The site’s location at the warmer, east end of the Santa Maria Valley accounts for the dark color and ripe flavor profile. This wine was 100% destemmed to accentuate the rich texture and seamless tannins, then cold-soaked for three to five days to intensify fruit character, color, and body. Primary aromas include black berries, rose petals and earth.

Critical Acclaim

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WE 94
Wine Enthusiast
From the oldest commercial vineyard in Santa Barbara County comes this heady bottling, showing aromas of deep black raspberry, vanilla bean, beef carpaccio, black pepper and sesame oil. Black and white pepper and bay leaf spice up the acid- and mineral-laced palate, where dark but sharply focused fruits of elderberry and boysenberry gain a savory touch from smoked pork.
RP 92
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Another terrific wine is the 2013 Pinot Noir Nielson Vineyard, which was completely destemmed and aged 16 months in 40% new French oak. Still showing its oak elevage, with lots of caramelized cherry, black raspberry, sweet oak and spice, it hits the palate with a seamless, silky, gorgeously pure texture that carries plenty of fruit and finishes clean and dry, with notable tannic grip. Give it a year or two in the cellar to integrate its oak and drink bottles through 2021.
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Byron

Byron

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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 Wine

Central Coast, California

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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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PIN405505_2013 Item# 156038

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