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2016 Bien Nacido "Estate" Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1457507 96 points Jeb Dunnuck

 Moving to the reds, the 2016 Pinot Noir Bien Nacido is brilliant, with a rare sense of purity and class. Black raspberries, forest floor, spice, and ample salinity and minerality all give way to a vibrant, medium-bodied, pure, incredibly elegant Pinot Noir that does everything right. This cuvée was fermented entirely with native yeast and spent 16 months in one-third new French oak.  (10/2019)

96 points Wine Enthusiast

 Intense cranberry and raspberry aromas meet with sultry baking spices, dried ginger, exotic wood and game on the nose of this bottling. The palate is intense in the same red fruits but layered in wild sagebrush and roasted quail, with bright acidity that is strong yet balanced. Drink now–2036. *Cellar Selection* (MK)  (1/2020)

92 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2016 Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard has a pale to medium ruby color and broody—but pretty—nose with tar, wild blackberries, red fruit sparks, turned earth and wet leaves with notions of spice in the background. Medium-bodied, it has a good core of earthy fruits with juicy freshness and grainy tannins, finishing long. This needs more time in bottle! And definitely a decant if you open it soon. 846 cases produced. (EB)  (9/2019)

92 points Vinous

 The 2016 Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard is a delicate and understated wine. Crushed red berries, earthiness, flowers and sweet spice are all nicely layered in this pretty, nuanced Pinot. Today, the Bien Nacido is especially hushed, but its persistence and the finesse of the tannins point to a Pinot with a bright future. (AG)  (9/2019)

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.


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Price: $49.95

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By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/6/2020 | Send Email
Bien Nacido continues to be one of the benchmark vineyards in Santa Maria. Its fruit is so esteemed, that in any given vintage over 20 top producers source fruit from these vines. The Estate bottling is the pinnacle of that selection and one can immediately see the detail and power behind this release. Filled with a deep core of cherry and raspberry fruit, the wine evolves with notes of sandalwood, rhubarb, clove and allspice and crescendos with wafts of roses and minerals. It is shockingly complete in the mouth with a silky texture but has abundant structure that will benefit from just a few more years in the cellar. This is one of the brightest stars in the already star-filled sky that is Bien Nacido.

By: Kaj Stromer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 2/5/2020 | Send Email
The fruit for this esteemed wine is sourced from 5 different blocks within the Bien Nacido vineyard; including Block Q, the oldest parcel. Each parcel is specially selected to give the wine an extra added dimension. They use 30% whole cluster to bolster the aromatics and the wine is aged for 18 months in 30% new French oak. The commitment to excellence along with the best raw materials leads to a Pinot Noir of exceptional complexity and charm. The wine possesses an exceptional array of red fruit and spice notes indicative of the most prized vineyard sites. It’s silky on the palate and the finish goes on for 30+ seconds. Simply gorgeous.

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