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2018 Syrah, Bien Nacido Vineyard
SANTA MARIA VALLEY AVA | SANTA BARBARA COUNTY
Bien Nacido is our coolest-climate Syrah vineyard, planted across two blocks up the hillsides overlooking Santa Maria Valley. The 2018 is a generous wine, showing blue and blackberry fruit, black cherry, and cracked pepper. Partial whole-cluster fermentation lends a meaty quality and texture, while a dollop a Viognier comes through in the lifted aromatics. With a tannin/acid structure that should allow it to age magnificently for up to 15 years or more, it is fairly open as a young wine and may be difficult to resist in the short term. Decanting is highly recommended within 5 years of the vintage.
Jeb Dunnuck 96+ Points ~ I loved the nose of the 2018 Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard, which just screams Bien Nacido with its masculine, salty, mineral-laced aromas and flavors. Possessing full-bodied richness and a round, seamless, gorgeous texture, this beauty gives up loads of ripe black and blue fruits, subtle olive brine, game, and peppery nuances and has ripe, building tannins as well as a great, great finish. It's another one of those “do not miss” wines from this great team. — Jeb Dunnuck
Wine Enthusiast 93 Points Cellar Selection ~ This sure-to-be long-lasting expression of this historic vineyard kicks off with snappy aromas of black raspberry, white pepper and charred meat on the nose. There is a fresh and edgy quality to the hearty palate, full of charred berries, black pepper and rounded violet flavors. It opens steadily with air. Drink now through 2038. — Matt Kettmann
Vinous 93 Points ~ The 2018 Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard is a dark, mysterious wine. Black cherry, plum, menthol, licorice, spice, lavender, and dried herbs all meld together. This is an especially brooding Syrah that is going to need time to fully come together. Give it a few years to soften. Drinking window 2023-2033. — Antonio Galloni
2017 Syrah, Bien Nacido Vineyard
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