The Miller family, owners of Bien Nacido, America’s most legendary Pinot Noir vineyard, have begun crafting their own wine with the help of Littorai alum winemaker, Trey Fletcher. Drawing on 40 years experience with this site, they now keep for themselves the best fruit from the best blocks. Vinous’s Antonio Galloni says “Simply put, Bien Nacido Estate is now one of the hottest wineries in California. Readers owe it to themselves to check out these superb, handcrafted wines.” This 2012 Bien Nacido Estate Vineyard Pinot Noir is the finest expression of Bien Nacido excellence. Winning rave triple 92-point reviews from Vinous, Wine Advocate, and Wine Enthusiast, this is a seductive and sophisticated Santa Maria Pinot Noir.
When blue-chip California wineries like Foxen, Paul Lato, and Ojai want to make a show-stopper, they head to one place: Bien Nacido Vineyards—“Santa Maria’s most famous vineyard,” in the words of Robert Parker.
Now with the best fruit in the brilliant hands of winemaker Trey Fletcher, Bien Nacido’s Miller family’s own wine takes things to another level . Trained at Littorai under the legendary winemaker Ted Lemon, Fletcher adopted his mentor’s low-yield, rigorous vineyard management practices, gleaned from Burgundy’s prized parcels. Applying those methods to the gnarled, 40-year-old Pinot vines in Bien Nacido has yielded miracles like this critically acclaimed 2012 stunner.
The Bien Nacido Vineyard is set in the fog-cooled Santa Maria Valley at the western edge of the Santa Maria Bench, on alluvial terraces and hills above the Sisquoc River. Summer temperatures are moderated first by morning fog, then by stiff breezes off the Pacific. The soils are deep, comprised of silty clay loam and shale.
In warm, stable vintages like 2013, Pinot ripens effortlessly, making for one of California’s greatest challengers to Côte d’Or perfection