Wine Spotlight: 2017 Bien Nacido Vineyard
Introducing this stunning release from the renowned Bien Nacido Vineyard in Santa Maria Valley, a grape source for Gary Farrell Winery dating back more than 30 years. This wine is known for its incredible exotic spice characteristic creating a unique counter profile to the bright red fruit notes. Abundant aromas and supple tannins swirl together in perfect harmony. Check out this recent write up from Food & Wine featuring Bien Nacido Vineyard: “The 17 Most Important California Vineyards All Wine Lovers Need to Know”
Harvest began on August 21st, the day of the total eclipse, 11 days later than the year before, so hang-time was in keeping with historical averages, but it commenced in a flash. Seven percent of grapes came in the first week, followed by 53% the second week during a severe heat wave. The remainder of harvest after Labor Day seemed to steady a bit as the weather cooled down slightly. The final fruit of the season came in on the last day of summer and the last day of sorting was September 22nd. We find it curious that we started on the day of the total eclipse and wrapped up with our last day of sorting on the Autumn Equinox. Planning ahead and pre-scheduling picks before the heat wave, in addition to overnight refrigeration and overall team efficiency smoothed over a lot of this rapid harvest’s bumps. Thanks to our grower partners and our own hard work, the flavor and ripeness of the wines is excellent. To our pleasant surprise, ~95% of the grapes came in on target, between 22-24.5 Brix, which is miraculous given the extreme conditions. This is definitely an indication of our overwhelming dedication to quality, but it is also a great reward for the hard work and long hours that went into making the 2017 vintage wines.
Exotic aromas of crushed ginger, cardamom, and toasted white pepper lift gracefully from the glass. Subtle hints of eucalyptus, mint, and black tea are woven throughout the bouquet. The mouthfeel is delicate and finessed, with precise flavors of dried strawberries and pomegranate that are balanced with an earthy background of oyster mushrooms. Silky wood tannins from a specially curated selection of luxurious French oak perfectly frame and provide elegant support to this ethereal offering from the Bien Nacido vineyard.
- 93 Points | PinotFile – Rusty Gaffney, June 2020
- 91 Points | Wine Spectator, April 2021
With a rich history that extends back to 1837 as a Spanish land grant, Bien Nacido Vineyard is one of the most prestigious sites in the Santa Maria Valley appellation, with a well-deserved reputation for truly exceptional Pinot Noir. We have sourced fruit from this historic vineyard for more than 20 years. For this release, we are one of the fortunate few to source some of the Pommard selection, 100% from the legendary Q Block – considered the most prestigious Pinot Noir block on this famous site.
Santa Maria Valley is positioned between Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties in California’s multi-county Central Coast AVA. The orientation is east–west with a wide, open valley and rolling hills ushering in cool winds and fog flowing freely from the Pacific Ocean. The result is a Mediterranean climate that lengthens the growing season and contributes to the eventual sugar/acid balance in the grapes.
Intro to Gary Farrell Winery
Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery is a 39-year pioneer of cool climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from the Russian River Valley. Winemaker Theresa Heredia joined us in 2012, carrying on our legacy of crafting Burgundian-styled, varietally expressive small-lot artisan wines capturing the balance and stylistic elegance of some of the finest vineyards in the Russian River Valley AVA and beyond; including Rochioli, Allen, Bacigalupi, Hallberg, Ritchie, Olivet Lane, Durell, Gap’s Crown, Fort Ross and Bien Nacido. Theresa works closely with our growers to showcase the exceptional fruit from their vineyards in each of her wines.
Watch the Grower Spotlight Video HERE