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Appearance: Medium garnet color in the glass with a proper light, youthful meniscus.
Aromatics: Bright red berry fruits, dried cherry, earth, and a hint of 'sauvage' make the aromatics of this young wine both bright and complex. Restrained and ripe simultaneously, the nose shows brilliant harvest timing which captures the elegance of the vintage without giving up primary fruit or an earthy complexity that speaks of place with a hint of sexy baking spice. Those paying deep attention to the smells in the glass may notice the faintest suggestion of a hint of savoriness, shoyu, toasty French oak, with a brightness of fruit and youthful verve.
Palate: The wine is simultaneously light on its feet and rewards the curious palate with a deep rabbit hole of complexity, ripe red-berry fruits and dry cherry, beautiful structure and a profound food-friendliness that will reward the freshest of ingredients by allowing the food to show through the wine. Vanilla-scented cherry and raspberry notes are complimented with a cool-climate structure and earthy depth that makes great pinot noirs the only wines in the world that have the flavor of a red wine and the structure/liveliness of a white.
Food Pairing: Bright enough for salmon, deep enough for filet mignon cooked over red oak. This is why we love pinot noir: its hard to think of a savory plate this 2013 J. Wilkes Pinot Noir wouldn't match. That being said, let me suggest braised rabbit with root vegetables, Cassoulet on a cold winter's night, mustard and garlic-crusted pork loin on the grill, hickory-smoked oysters with minced morel mushrooms, or ground rib-eye burger with aged Vermont cheddar.
Wine AdvocateThe 2013 Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley offers Christmas spice, peppery herbs and sweet red and black fruits to go with a supple, fruit-forward, yet pure and balanced style. Brought up in 40% new French oak, this is a well-made, delicious California Pinot Noir to enjoy over the coming 4-5 years.
Wine EnthusiastConcentrated violets, cranberries and plum-pie aromas show on the nose of this wine by the Miller family, who own Bien Nacido Vineyard. The palate offers cola, tart cherries, cranberries and black-slate minerality.