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J. Wilkes Pinot Blanc Santa Maria Valley Bien Nacido Vineyard 2004

External Review by Appellation America:

For almost two decades, beginning in 1984, Jeff Wilkes worked for the Miller family, marketing and selling their grapes grown at Bien Nacido Vineyard. If anyone knows about Bien Nacido grapes, it’s Jeff Wilkes. So it seemed only natural, after all this time talking and tasting (as well as growing grapes) with other vintners and seeing how they do things, that he and his wife, Kimberly, would take the plunge and make wines under his own moniker. Wilkes is a Pinot Noir specialist but he wanted to have a least one white wine on board and Pinot Blanc from Bien Nacido was the obvious choice. Also quite obvious is that this is a flat out fun wine, from the first sniff and swallow. The nose comes on strong with minerals and stone fruits. In the mouth, the fruit is very bright with a fine minerality and scintillating acidity. Though the ripe flavors of honeysuckle, lemon cream and apple blossom are apparent, the wine was fermented to dryness (and with no oak, nor malolactic). It retains its freshness, fruitiness and clean cut of minerality all the way though to the persistent finish. Frankly, this Pinot Blanc is so refreshing that it should be a "go to" wine by glass on restaurant wine lists. <HR>Purchase this wine as part of the Bien Nacido Vineyards Collector’s Case, a unique offering of 12 vineyard designated wines from 12 different winemakers. <HR>

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J. Wilkes Wines:
The roots of our new beginning actually took hold in 1984. I had just accepted a position with Bien Nacido Vineyards to help market the grapes produced there during one of the largest grape gluts in California history. I was reviewing the wines produced from the vineyard and tasted the only red wine produced from Bien Nacido-grown Pinot Noir. Most of the Bien Nacido Pinot Noir was made into spa... Read more
The roots of our new beginning actually took hold in 1984. I had just accepted a position with Bien Nacido Vineyards to help market the grapes produced there during one of the largest grape gluts in California history. I was reviewing the wines produced from the vineyard and tasted the only red wine produced from Bien Nacido-grown Pinot Noir. Most of the Bien Nacido Pinot Noir was made into sparkling wine at that time. However, the 1982 Austin Cellars Bien Nacido Pinot Noir had just been released and not only did I feel that Pinot Noir was the future for Bien Nacido but I knew this was my future. During my 18 years at BNV, my goal was to make Bien Nacido recognized as one of the premier Pinot Noir vineyards in the country. Along with the marketing and sales of the grapes, I focused on improving farming techniques and upgrading the trellises. I spent a lot of time on the road visiting other vineyards throughout the state. I looked at what other vineyards were doing, tasted the resulting wines and then brought this research back so that we could take advantage of the best techniques around. During this time, I tasted the best Pinot's from Bien Nacido, as well as from all over California and France. Because I was spending untold hours visiting wineries and talking with winemakers, I developed a real sense of how I wanted to produce wine. In 2001, I decided to venture out with the goal of making world class wines. Initially, I limited my production to Pinot Noir from Bien Nacido but I always had the goal of working with the finest vineyards along California's coast. In 2003, we expanded our horizons a bit and added Pinot Noir from Solomon Hills Vineyards in the Santa Maria Valley and Vall-Foss Vineyards in Napa Valley. I also wanted to produce a white wine so I added a Pinot Blanc from Bien Nacido in 2004. My promise to you is that J. Wilkes will always produce small, handcrafted lots of the finest grapes into wines of distinction. By sourcing grapes from carefully selected sites and then using a combination of modern and traditional winemaking techniques, J. Wilkes wines will continue to show the best characteristics of traditional Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc. Read less

External Reviews for J. Wilkes Pinot Blanc Santa Maria Valley Bien Nacido Vineyard

External Review
Source: Appellation America
10/16/2008

For almost two decades, beginning in 1984, Jeff Wilkes worked for the Miller family, marketing and selling their grapes grown at Bien Nacido Vineyard. If anyone knows about Bien Nacido grapes, it’s Jeff Wilkes. So it seemed only natural, after all this time talking and tasting (as well as growing grapes) with other vintners and seeing how they do things, that he and his wife, Kimberly, would take the plunge and make wines under his own moniker. Wilkes is a Pinot Noir specialist but he wanted to have a least one white wine on board and Pinot Blanc from Bien Nacido was the obvious choice. Also quite obvious is that this is a flat out fun wine, from the first sniff and swallow. The nose comes on strong with minerals and stone fruits. In the mouth, the fruit is very bright with a fine minerality and scintillating acidity. Though the ripe flavors of honeysuckle, lemon cream and apple blossom are apparent, the wine was fermented to dryness (and with no oak, nor malolactic). It retains its freshness, fruitiness and clean cut of minerality all the way though to the persistent finish. Frankly, this Pinot Blanc is so refreshing that it should be a "go to" wine by glass on restaurant wine lists. <HR>Purchase this wine as part of the Bien Nacido Vineyards Collector’s Case, a unique offering of 12 vineyard designated wines from 12 different winemakers. <HR>



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