Leader of the Pack

Light ruby thinning out to clear garnet at the edge. A most effusive perfume squeals out of it, thick marmalade and the kind of pinot fruit that curls toes and induces long sighs. A chubby nut going back into tahini and date-butter and the sweaty sort of barnyard driven by a leaky faucet on mud with the smoky incense so difficult to explain: all this candy wrapped around a core of perfect cherry.

I fell in love with La Fenetre way back when and when they opted for a complete re-brand into the Timbre marque, I had *hoped* the wines would remain the same strict dedication to varietal and regional quality. You never know. But it has been seamless across the transition–still offering nothing but the finest dedication to Pinot and Chard from Santa Maria Valley in my favorite form: not swinging for the benches in deep macerations of oak and skin-contact and heavy-handed oak, but making clear, bright wines elegant edges without superfluous tripping-points. This is not to say the 99 will not enjoy these wines. They aren’t particularly geeky and definitely not “weird”. Everywhere you look, there’s nothing but the finest fruit representation and varietal correctness.

In the mouth, FAR more *juice* and concentration than the body of the wine would suggest. This is the charming-point of good pinot. The inhalation of all that match-head and graphite is impossible to separate from the intake on the tongue. At least: you SHOULD be smelling this wine as you touch it to your palate. Thick and creamy, acids instantly begin their staccato dance, drying out the gorgeous puddles of ripe cherry with the wizened stance of mature vines clapping from behind. Bien Nacido has this tobacco inherent, a sharp hilly layer of cool mist, dirty but pure, a gritty smear placed on fruit brought to perfection.

This wine is why not everybody gets Bien Nacido. I adore this wine, and if you are a pinot-freakazoid like me, YOU WILL TOO.

2017 TIMBRE WINERY Pinot Noir ‘Lead Vocals’ Bien Nacido Old Vines Santa Maria Valley Santa Barbara Co. 14.2


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