Timbre Lead Vocals Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir 2014
Since 2009, we have been fortunate enough to source Pinot Noir from one of the most coveted Pinot Noir vineyards in the country. Continuing the tradition, our ‘Lead Vocals’ Pinot is 100% ‘G block’, one of the own-rooted sections of the vineyard, planted in 1973. The own roots and vine age, seem to create a complexity and stuffing rarely found in American Pinot Noir and, even in a big vintage like 2014, these old vines produced less than 2 tons per acre.
As usual, Bien Nacido delivers intrigue on the nose. The funkiest of our Pinot Noirs, this wine promises layer upon layer of complexity from the outset. On the palate, the wine still has the classic, pretty Pinot Noir elements of strawberry and cranberry, but gets deeper with earthy elements of caraway seed and sous-bois. The oak is more apparent on this wine that our other Santa Maria Valley offerings, with a tantalizing riff of cocoa powder running throughout.
The depth of this wine calls to mind a description of John Coltrane’s style as “sheets of sound,” so the first musical pairing for this wine has to be Coltrane’s “Giant Steps”. The funk of the wine also makes its own case for a musical pairing, so “Uptown Funk” by Bruno Mars is another great option. Drink Now-2024+.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
They source fruit from some of the best vineyards in Santa Barbara County and across the Central Coast, but they don’t own any of those vineyards, so what differentiates their wines from others sourced from the same vineyard sites? There are many factors, from picking decisions to fermentation, oak, when to rack, when to bottle as well as intangible, indescribable elements. The concept is that those intangibles have a big impact and, collectively, they make up the Timbre of their wines.
As a terroir-driven winery, we strive to make wines that are expressive of the places and times from which they came, but inevitably, as winemakers, they are channeling these vineyard sites through their own experiences and adding their own mark, their Timbre, on the resulting wines.
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.