Santa Maria Valley
The Bien Nacido syrahs we have made often take years to resolve themselves–they are often misunderstood in their youth because of their quirkiness. This one is different because it is so straight ahead and expressive now–and easy to enjoy. In 2004 we had quite a hot spell during the pinot noir harvest and it made its mark on this late ripening syrah, as well.
The tannins are particularly well rounded and pleasantly mouth coating. This syrah is generous and fruity, and not particularly herbal; however, it does have great balance. There is a note of pepper, but the flavors are dominated by flowers and fruits. Don’t get me wrong, although this big delicious wine has plenty of aging potential it is approachable today.
Blend: 100% Syrah | Alcohol: 14.5% | Vinification: 20% New French Oak | Barrel Aging: 22 Months
Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
Wine Advocate #177 Jun 2008
“The 2004 Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard exhibits a black purple color, and a deep, concentrated nose of tapenade, blackberry, graphite, and earth. Full-bodied, dense, and chewy, it will benefit from 1-2 more years of bottle age, and should last for 15+.
Tasting through three vintages of Adam Tolmach’s Syrahs is an education in how different these three years were in Santa Ynez and Santa Barbara County. 2004 was a warm year, 2005 was a cool year with high yields and good acids, and 2006 was a challenging vintage that required substantial work in the vineyards as well as tremendous patience at the end when it appeared a freakish hot spell might ripen everything at once. 2005 is a very strong vintage at Ojai, and all of the single vineyard offerings were deeper and richer than their 2006 counterparts.” – RP 92+ Points
Wine Advocate #172 Aug 2007
“From Santa Maria Valley’s cooler climate (which often makes for a higher acid wine with a more northern Rhone Valley character), the 2004 Syrah Bien Nacido reveals more graphite, tapenade, blackberry, and cassis fruit along with an earthy component as well as fine acidity. This beauty does not possess any of the 2004 vintage’s heat or softness as there is plenty of structure and density in this full-bodied, rich, heady Syrah.” – RP 93 Points
Wine Advocate #166 Aug 2006
“Always a top-notch effort, the full-bodied, powerful 2004 Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard boasts aromas and flavors of black olives, blackberries, cassis, and loamy soil.
Adam Tolmach kindly conducted a mini-vertical, going back to 1995, of his Bien Nacido Vineyard Syrah, and it was good to see how well they all performed. My favorites included the 1996 (93 points), 1998 (91 points), 2000 (93 points), and 2002 (93 points). The only wine that did not show as well as I would have hoped was the 1997 (88 points), which was much lighter and on a faster evolutionary track.” – RP (91-93 Points)
Stephen Tanzers International Wine Cellar
“Glass-staining ruby. Intensely perfumed bouquet shows a deep red and dark berry character with subtle licorice and suave baking spices. Fleshy blackcurrant and kirsch flavors are gently supported by pliant tannins, which shape the long, sweet finish. Picks up a cracked pepper quality with air, which adds energy and cut to the sweet fruit.” – JR 92 Points