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2017 Syrah, Bien Nacido Vineyard
SANTA BARBARA COUNTY | SANTA MARIA VALLEY AVA
Bien Nacido is our coolest-climate Syrah vineyard. Planted across two blocks up the hillsides overlooking Santa Maria Valley, this is one of our most exciting wines each year. Partial stem-inclusion and a dollop of Viognier in the fermentation adds savory texture and complexity. Shows flavors of cured meat, dark fruit and black pepper. This is a complex, bold wine that has a history of aging magnificently for up to 15 years and longer. If you chose to open within the first 5 years of the vintage, decanting is highly recommended.
Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points ~ The 2017 Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard (there's 3% Viognier in the blend) sports a deep purple hue to go with ultra-classic aromas of blackberries, ground pepper, crushed violets, and bouquet garni as well as marine-like salty, gamey notes. It's awesome on the palate as well – full-bodied, seamless, flawlessly balanced, and offering just about everything you could want from Central Coast Syrah. It's going to evolve nicely for 10-12 years, although there's no need to delay gratification. Maturity 2020-2032. — Jeb Dunnuck
Vinous 94 Points ~ The 2017 Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard opens with stunning aromatics that carry through to the palate, where the wine is simply thrilling to experience. Black pepper, lavender, spice, licorice and cloves add striking perfume and a real sense of brilliance to this dark, brooding Bien Nacido Syrah from Jaffurs. This is a terrific showing. Drinking window 2022-2032. — Antonio Galloni
2016 Syrah, Bien Nacido Vineyard
Wine Advocate 94 Points ~ Deep ruby-purple and with 3% Viognier, the 2016 Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard has a wonderful nose of dried violet, cracked green and black peppercorn, black olive, roasted coffee, bitter chocolate and a core packed to the gills with warm black and blue fruits. Full-bodied, it has tons of fruit and savory layers, with very firm, chewy tannins and just enough freshness to lift that impenetrable flavor through to the finish. Wowza! Drink date 2020-2035. — Erin Brooks
Vinous 94 Points ~ The 2016 Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard is terrific. Drops of co-fermented Viognier and 30% whole clusters give the Bien Nacido a striking upper register and layers of nuance. The 2016 is powerful, yet it also shows quite a bit of detail. More importantly, it is absolutely delicious. Drink 2021-2031. — Antonio Galloni
Jeb Dunnuck 94 Points ~ While this cuvée was previously always one of the most flamboyant and opulent in the lineup, today it's become a more classic example of Bien Nacido. The 2016 Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard, which includes 3% Viognier and 30% stems, reveals a deep purple color as well as notes of black (and some blue) fruits, ground pepper, iron, ground pepper, and salty, earthy minerality. Rich, medium to full-bodied, beautifully balanced and layered, it has building tannins, good acidity, and a great finish. Give bottles 2-3 years and it will keep for 10-15 years. Maturity 2019-2034. — Jeb Dunnuck
2015 Syrah, Bien Nacido Vineyard
Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points ~ The 2015 Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard (there's 3% Viognier) is one of the inkier wines in the lineup. Aged 22 months in 28% new French oak, it boasts knockout notes of blackberries, smoked duck, lavender, bacon fat, and ample marine-like minerality and seabreeze notes. Gorgeously pure, full bodied, concentrated, and expansive, it's a brilliant, brilliant Syrah that has everything you could want from this variety. It opens up with time in the glass (I followed this bottle for two days) and can be drunk today or cellaring for 10-15 years. Maturity 2018-2033. — Jeb Dunnuck
Vinous 93 Points ~ The 2015 Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard is silky and polished, with no hard edges and tons of the personality that is such a signature of this Santa Maria site. Inky red fruit, lavender and spice nuances fill out nicely. A touch of Viognier adds perfume and attractive notes. This is the first vintage of the Bien Nacido Syrah done with whole clusters, an approach that worked beautifully. Drink 2018-2025. — Antonio Galloni
Wine Enthusiast 92 Points ~ Tar, charred beef, purple flowers, crushed slate and elderberry jam make an attention-grabbing aromatic entry to the nose of this bottling. The palate is quite tart and taut, with peppery spice, rustic elderberry and new leather flavors. — Matt Kettmann
Wine Spectator 91 Points ~ Tightly focused and well-built, with blackberry and smoky meat accents that take on big but refined tannins. Best from 2020 through 2025. 350 cases made. — Tim Fish