2010 Bien Nacido Pinot Noir
Our Bien Nacido Pinot Noir comes from ten-year-old vines on the upper bench portion of the vineyard. The vines, Dijon clone 113 and 777, were planted between older Pinot Noir and have to struggle every year to get the nutrients they need. This leads to tiny yields (always less the 2 tons an acre without any green harvesting). On September 3st these grapes were picked at 5am at 48° F to avoid having to do any chilling of the fruit in the cellar. Because of the great ripeness this year, I used 40 % whole cluster in the fermentation. The fruit went through a 5-day cold soak before it began to ferment naturally. Punch down occurred one to three times per day as needed until the wine went dry and was pressed into French oak barrels (1/3 new).
The nose is enveloped by red cherry, and wild strawberry. There is a great amount of spice and complexity that bursts through the fruit. The spice is dominated by white pepper, cinnamon, star anis and clove. These are some of the classic character of Bien Nacido.
On the palate the wine is very clean, and precise. It has a long even finish with plenty of red fruit and cola. I am very happy with how this wine is drinking now but I also expect it age very well for 7-10 years (and hopefully much longer!).
Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar- 92 points, Nov/Dec 2012
Light, bright red. Red berry preserves, potpourri and gingerbread on the highly fragrant nose and in the mouth. Sappy, penetrating and seamless, with slow-building spiciness and a subtle cola quality on the back half. Closes sweet and long, with lingering spiciness and floral nuances.
Wine Spectator- 92 points
A delicate style, with subtle touches of blackberry, blueberry, spice and black tea. Maintains its focus and graceful balance, gliding on the finish. Drink now through 2020.
Wine Enthusiast- 94 points