2016 Beckon "Bien Nacido Vineyard" Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir (Elsewhere $36)

SKU #1426159 92 points Wine & Spirits

 This is Fetzer’s project in the Central Coast, and the second vintage in a row in which Robert Blue turned out an exceptional Pinot from Bien Nacido. It’s an immediate hit of bright red fruit and stemmy peppercorn spice, then it lasts with quiet persistence, lively and substantial in its blood-orange acidity and roseate tannins. Those tannins have a sandy feel, coastal and fresh.  (12/2018)

92 points Wine Enthusiast

 Dried red cherry, wild thyme, sagebrush and an underlying hint of game show on the nose of this bottling from a vineyard first planted more than four decades ago. The palate is herbaceous at first before delivering flavors of roast pork in a mulberry-thyme sauce. (MK)  (12/2018)

K&L Notes

Located in the agricultural heart of the Santa Maria Valley, the Bien Nacido Vineyard has developed a reputation for producing some of the finest Pinot Noir grapes the New World has to offer. Winery note: "The grapes were hand-sorted, gently destemmed, and cold soaked for a few days before fermentation. 48% of the fruit was fermented in oak barrels, while the rest was fermented in open top tanks. After fermentation, the skins were pressed off in a basket press. The wine was then aged for 11 months in 100% French oak barrels. Tasting Notes - Bright, garnet red in color, this Pinot Noir leads with classic varietal fruit aromas of fresh red berries and dried herbs, supported by hints of toasty oak and vanilla. Rich and smooth on the palate with a balanced acidity, featuring strawberry and red cherry fruit flavors upfront, followed by elegant notes herbs and vanilla. Food Pairing - Beckon Pinot Noir is an ideal match for roasted white meats, lamb and meaty fish, as well as a variety of soft and fresh cheeses like brie and ricotta."

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By: Ryan Woodhouse | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/26/2019 | Send Email
I've been told this is a one time deal that will not be coming back. We snagged a parcel of this wine at a huge discount so don't miss it! Bien Nacido is one of the most highly regarded Pinot Noir vineyards in California with a pedigree going back 40 years. A who's who of Californian winemakers source fruit from this hallowed site year in an year out. Here's a chance to grab some at a price that is unheard of for vineyard designates from this site. The Beckon Bien Nacido Pinot Noir captures the wild and complex flavors that define Santa Maria Valley. This cool climate area with lots of coastal influence issues forth brambly, earthy, layered flavors in this wine. Brooding, deep red berries intermingle with dried rose petal notes, herbs de Provence, forest floor and subtle wood smoke. A stony mineral, iron like note adds a certain umami quality to the wine. A complex and serious wine...not just simple fruit. Medium bodied, plenty of concentration and texture on the palate. Well balanced and complete.

By: Neal Fischer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/26/2019 | Send Email
This single vineyard Pinot recently received 92 points from Wine Enthusiast, composed of grapes from a vineyard often sought out by the winemakers at Qupe and Au Bon Climat. The nose is soft and reminiscent of Burgundy. I pick up forest floor, bramble berry, and incense. This wine has a lot of minerality. The palate retains a dark fruity character like berry compote, but the flavors are really more concentrated on the savory and spicy ends of the spectrum. Killer wine under $20!

By: Kaj Stromer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/16/2019 | Send Email
First of all, this is one amazing deal on a fine bottle of wine. It’s sourced from 40-year-old vines from one of the Central Coasts most famous vineyards. Wines of this character and class generally run $35 and up. Thanks to the shrewd negotiating power of our K&L buyer, we scored a significant, one-time-only deal on this. That should be reason enough to earn a “buy” rating. The Beckon Pinot Noir is the perfect hybrid wine for those of you who prefer your Pinot’s slightly richer and more structured as not all Pinot’s match up to the hearty fare of the backyard BBQ. The Beckon has the structure and richness to be your “go to” trip-tip, ribs, and grilled slabs of beef Pinot Noir. A case should get you through the next couple of months till we find the next screaming deal.

By: Blake Conklin | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/11/2019 | Send Email
As broad as the famed Bien Nacido vineyard can be, I have to be honest, only half the stuff that is sourced from there really excites me. Luckily, the Beckon Pinot noir is one of them... Coming from a specific block of 40 year old vines, the Beckon is bright, has fantastic acidity, it's earthy, and overall, it's an absolute steal for anyone trying to find a fantastic single vineyard pinot noir from the central coast. I reckon you get your hands on this Beckon.

By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/10/2019 | Send Email
The most striking thing about this wine is not the fantastic vineyard source nor the incredible price. No, it's just how complete and satisfying it really is. The flavors are classic Santa Maria with cherry, red flowers and a mix of baking spices. The palate is saturated and rich with smooth and supple tannins. At twice the price this would be exceptional, so yeah that $20 price tag is something to take not of. This is my favorite new pinot for some grilled tri-tip, pinquito beans and potato salad!

Additional Information:


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 (%): 14.2