2014 Bien Nacido Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1427465 95 points Vinous

 A huge, explosive wine, the 2014 Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyards is another Pinot that is going to need time to come into its own. Soaring aromatics and intense, red-toned fruit make a strong opening impression. Readers should expect a boisterous, structured Pinot Noir endowed with serious heft. (AG)  (9/2017)

K&L Notes

There are few parcels more historic along California's central coast than the Bien Nacido vineyard. A case could be made for calling it a "grand cru". Born in the early 1970s, time has shown that the exceptionally high quality fruit emanating from this hallowed piece of land is worthy of that lofty designation. Rocky soils, cool climate, and vine age have combined to produce some of the most compelling Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Syrah. It's no wonder that so many wineries line up year-after-year to secure Bien Nacido fruit. So it should come as no surprise that the Millers would eventually put their minds towards making wine from here as well. Winemaker Trey Fletcher, along with vineyard manager Chris Hammell, act as trusted stewards of the land and have turned the Bien Nacido winery into one of the finest in California. This is one of the most exciting wineries today and is clearly a property on the rise. A mere 484 cases produced.

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Price: $49.99

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Product Reviews:

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By: Kaj Stromer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/24/2019 | Send Email
The pedigree of this wine is immediately obvious as you pour it into your glass. At five years of age it possesses the translucence of a fine Volnay. The aromatics are surprisingly complex complete with hints of creamy red cherry compote, black tea, and spice box. It’s apparent that it comes from old-vines, some planted as far back as 1973. While the Miller’s have been selling their Bien Nacido fruit to other top winemakers forever, this bottling proves that they have a unique perspective on how to coax the most out of their vines. This embodies all the virtues of Pinot Noir as the most elegant of all wines. The palate is as smooth as silk with a long enduring finish.

By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/24/2019 | Send Email
The "Grand Cru" vineyard of Santa Maria delivers again! The fruit from this vineyard is fabled and yes, there are certain blocks that may deliver more intensity than others. The Bien Nacido namesake though is a tremendous version that captures the cherry and sassafras notes that make this site such a standout. Elegant tannins frame complexity that is just starting to tip towards tertiary (bottle aged) notes. This is almost bold but stops just short, so it never feels overwhelming. A fine Pinot to add to any collection.

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.