Santa Maria Valley
It’s surprising to have these two syrahs together. I wouldn’t have thought the Bien Nacido would have the same density as the Thompson, but the 2003 it really does. Of course the cooler climate of Santa Maria Valley makes for a sleeker, higher acid wine, with a more classic northern Rhone feel, but as far as overall intensity of flavor, these wines are an even match. And like the Thompson, if you are going to drink this wine now, I insist that you decant it several hours before doing so to allow it to open up.
As I mentioned last year, since 2001 Bien Nacido has excelled in vineyard management, and this has had a great impact on all the wines we make from here. Viticulturalist Chris Hammell was able to deliver near perfection in 2003 from our vineyard block of syrah, anticipating and acting on every farming detail that needed attention. This could turn out to be our best syrah from this vineyard since 1996.
Blend: 100% Syrah | Alcohol: 14.5% | Vinification: 20% New French Oak | Barrel Aging: 22 Months