2011 Foxen "Bien Nacido Vineyard - Block 8" Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1140695 93 points Vinous

 The 2011 Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard Block 8 is beautifully layered from start to finish. Dark red fruits meld into sweet floral and balsamic notes as the wine opens up in the glass. Medium in body and beautifully textured on the palate, the 2011 is all about polish. This is another terrific showing. Best of all, the 2011 will offer tremendous pleasure right out of the gate. Drinking window: 2014 - 2021  (7/2013)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 More structured and broad, with a big frame that should fill in with another year or three in the cellar, the 2011 Pinot Noir Block 8 – Bien Nacido Vineyard has the crushed rock-like minerality that's a hallmark for the vineyard as well as notions of white pepper, dried underbrush and spice-laced red fruits. Medium-bodied, firm and tight, it should have a graceful evolution through 2023. Drink 2016-2023+.  (8/2013)

92 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Cellar Selection* There’s a severity of acids and tannins that limits this Pinot’s immediate enjoyment. It feels tight and hard, despite a core of black and red cherries and the sweetness of toasty oak. All indications point to the cellar. Give it 6-7 years, and it could be going strong well after 2020.  (11/2013)

90 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 (75% new French oak): Bright ruby. Powerful, heady aromas of dark berry preserves, vanilla, mocha and woodsmoke. Opulent and emphatically fruity, offering black raspberry and vanilla bean flavors that coat the palate. What this pinot lacks in delicacy it makes up for with heft and decadent fruit. Finishes sweet, smoky and long, with a strong echo of vanilla. Fans of large-scaled pinot will go nuts for this one, while those in the proverbial pursuit of balance will no doubt demur; I suspect that both camps will disagree with my score.  (12/2013)

Wine Spectator

 Offers ripe, juicy plum, strawberry and wild berry notes in a medium-weight style. The tannins show a touch of earthiness on the firm finish. (Web-2013)

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Price: $49.99
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Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Santa Maria/Santa Barbara

- Santa Maria and Santa Ynez make up the two AVAs of Santa Barbara County, an area known for its natural beauty and temperate climate. The best grape-growing areas, however, are located on the very coastal reaches of these two appellations, and are cooled by ever-present fog and ocean breezes (it is even cooler and foggier here than Carneros!). As expected, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir thrive while the more inland zones lay claim to Bordeaux varietals and some Rhône blends.
Alcohol Content (%): 13.7