$42 per bottle / $453.60 per
$35.70 per bottle / $403.20 per
Bien Nacido in Santa Maria Valley is a very tony neighborhood,
vitaceously speaking. It's my own personal (unproven) theory that
the clone of Syrah planted in the X-block (the "Estrella River"
clone) may in fact be identical to "Serine", the aromatic Syrah
variant of Côte Rôtie. The rub is that Serine only really expresses
its unique qualities when grown on very cool sites, which, of
course, very accurately describes Bien Nacido.
An exceptionally cool and elegant vintage, this bottling shows off
the typical smoked meat/bacon fat character that typifies Bien
Nacido. In recent vintages, we've been including a more substantial
percentage of whole cluster fruit in this wine, and the stem
inclusion does add rather nicely to the structure of the wine and
perhaps an enhanced degree of herbal spiciness. Very peppery and
minty, with excellent fresh acidity (another trademark of Bien
Nacido Syrah), rich dark fruit, and moderate but firm tannins.
Immense savoriness (somewhat of a Bonny Doon signifier), with an
exotic herbal element, that rather subjectively reminds me a bit of
chimichurri. This wine calls out (bleats?) for roasted lamb.
Note Well: The wine is exceptionally locked up
(closed for business) for several minutes after opening, and will
benefit enormously from decanting or even just sitting a half hour
in a large glass; this is a great portent of the wine’s great aging
potential. A most successful vintage for Bien Nacido Syrah.
Blend: 100% syrah
Vineyard: Bien Nacido
Appellation: Santa Maria Valley
Alcohol by Volume: 13.3%
Serving Temp: 55-60ºF
TA: 5.7 g/L
Cellaring: 20+ years from release (Nov. 2012)
Production: 843 cases
is currently empty