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Bien Nacido Estate, SyrahSanta Maria Valley, California 2018 (750mL)

From the Wine Shop

Bien Nacido Estate, Syrah Santa Maria Valley, California 2018 (750mL)

“Bien Nacido Estate’s Syrah showpiece is infused with jaw-dropping aromatics, intense flavors, and absurd cellaring potential. After all, it does come from one of the world’s ‘10 Most Important Vineyards.’”

Bien Nacido Estate’s wines are made to showcase their sustainably farmed, cool-climate terroir by minimizing hands-on factors in the winery. This 2018 comes predominantly from their “Z Block” (plus 1% of co-planted, co-fermented Viognier), a sprawling parcel that lies at 700 feet elevation just 16 miles from the Pacific. Additionally, a smaller portion of their famous ungrafted “X Block” Syrah was utilized as well. These vines produce thick-skinned, intensely concentrated berries that are hand-harvested at night to ensure only cool grapes arrive at their onsite winery. The grapes fermented (partial whole cluster) via ambient yeasts and then matured for 16 months in French oak barrels, 25% new. It was bottled unfined and unfiltered. 

Rule #1 if drinking within the next two years: Decant, decant, decant! I’ve been fortunate enough to taste a large portion of Bien Nacido Estate’s wines now, and while I can say they represent some of the finest Syrah bottlings in America, they are tight and reductive in their youth (just like Côte-Rôtie). So if you do pull the cork, I strongly recommend decanting at least two hours and saving half of the bottle for consumption on day two. Only then will you get a sneak preview of the genuine, breathtaking beauty that lies ahead—I think 2025 will be a sensational year for this wine, and it’ll be peaking around 2028. As for right now, powerful yet subtle waves of fruit and savoriness lurk beneath a curtain of smoky, peppery reduction: brambly berries, spiced blue plum, dried black cherry, wild game, fresh violets, baking spice, potting soil, olive brine, crushed stone and herbs. The palate is full and muscular but not extracted or concentrated (only 13.1% ABV!); it’s in beautiful, superb harmony. Serve around 60 degrees in large Bordeaux stems. Cheers!

  • CountryUnited States
  • RegionCentral Coast
  • Sub-RegionSanta Maria Valley
  • SoilShale & Loam
  • FarmingOrganic
  • BlendSyrah
  • Alcohol13.1%
  • OakFrench Barrels, 25% New
  • Temp.Serve at 60° F
  • GlasswareLarge Bordeaux Stem
  • DrinkingNow-2028
  • Decanting2+ Hours
  • PairingLamb Burgers

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