A Guide to Wine, Food & the Good Life
To subscribe and be notified anytime we post a new article, enter your email address in the box below, then click on Subscribe Now.

Featured Wine Commentary

Similar Articles:

  1. 2018 GERMAN ROSÉS
  2. 2018 ROSES - IT'S TIME & IT LOOKS LIKE WE ARE IN FOR A REAL TREAT!
  3. CALERA WINE COMPANY - A GREAT CALIFORNIA WINE STORY NOW ENTERING ANOTHER CHAPTER
  4. A RECENT VISIT TO DIAMOND CREEK VINEYARDS – FALL 2018
  5. GAMBAL-WORK WINERY
  6. 2018 HILLSIDE HOUSE SUNSET SOIRÉE WITH JIM CLENDENEN OF AU BON CLIMAT
  7. IS IT ROSÉ TIME?
  8. DOMAINE BALLOT-MILLOT – HISTORY, OLDER WINES & THE 2015 VINTAGE, AND TASTING NOTES ON THE 2015S
  9. BIEN NACIDO ESTATE AND SOLOMON HILLS ESTATE
  10. A VISIT TO TYLER WINERY
  11. ALONG THE BURGUNDY TRAIL – VINTAGE 2014
  12. SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAIN VINEYARD AND QUINTA CRUZ
  13. RIDGE VINEYARDS & THE DROUGHT YEARS 2012-2015
  14. BONNY DOON VINEYARD: A PIONEER PRODUCER WHERE OLD IS NEW
  15. VISIT TO CALERA & NEW AND OLD WINES
  16. DIAMOND CREEK VINEYARDS
  17. TYLER WINERY
  18. MARIETTA CELLARS
  19. CHANIN WINE COMPANY & LUTUM WINES
  20. MASSICAN WINERY
  21. DOMAINE BALLOT MILLOT
  22. DOMAINE SAUMAIZE-MICHELIN
  23. ALONG THE BURGUNDY TRAIL - VINTAGE 2013
  24. CALERA WINE COMPANY
  25. RIDGE VINEYARDS
  26. BIEN NACIDO ESTATE AND SOLOMON HILLS ESTATE
  27. RIDGE VINEYARDS AND TABLAS CREEK VINEYARD
  28. TYLER WINERY AND CHANIN WINE COMPANY
  29. ALONG THE BURGUNDY TRAIL - VINTAGE 2012
  30. WORLD CLASS CENTRAL COAST WINERIES: New Releases From Calera, Domaine Eden, Mount Eden Vineyards, Ridge Vineyards, and Tablas Creek Vineyard
  31. BERNARD PORTET’S NEW WINEMAKING PROJECT, HERITANCE
  32. CALERA WINE COMPANY
  33. THE OJAI VINEYARD
  34. TYLER WINERY
  35. ALONG THE BURGUNDY TRAIL – VINTAGE 2011
  36. DOMAINE DONATSCH
  37. THE COMPLETE(R) STORY
  38. SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAIN VINEYARD & QUINTA CRUZ: TWO IN ONE
  39. THE BIG KAHUNA LINE UP
  40. RIDGE VINEYARDS
  41. AU BON CLIMAT & QUPÉ
  42. MOUNT EDEN VINEYARDS AND DOMAINE EDEN
  43. MOSEL VERSUS MONTRACHET
  44. JOSEPH SWAN: A CALIFORNIA WINE LEGEND
  45. SUMMERTIME IS ROSÉ TIME!
  46. IN PURSUIT OF BALANCE: A TRADE TASTING AND MORE
  47. SPRING HAS SPRUNG
  48. THE MAYACAMAS MOUNTAINS OF NAPA VALLEY & THREE PIONEER PRODUCERS
  49. STILL DON'T KNOW JURA? YOU DON’T KNOW WHAT YOU ARE MISSING!
  50. THREE CRU CLASSÉ LADIES OF THE COTES DE PROVENCE
  51. ALONG THE BURGUNDY TRAIL – VINTAGE 2010
  52. THE OJAI VINEYARD
  53. KUDOS FOR CALERA
  54. THE HOLY TRINITY OF WINERIES
  55. MOUNT EDEN VINEYARDS AND DOMAINE EDEN -- SOMETHING OLD AND SOMETHING NEW
  56. RIDGE VINEYARDS - UNCOMPROMISING QUALITY
  57. The Dueling Inexpensive Red Wine Line-Ups -- Which Ones Went To The Drinking Round And Which Ones Went Down The Drain?
  58. A Pair To Draw From – Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard and Quinta Cruz
  59. T FOR TWO – TABLAS CREEK AND TYLER TOO!
  60. Que Syrah, Syrah…Wherefore Art Thou?
  61. ALONG THE BURGUNDY TRAIL - VINTAGE 2009
  62. Is “Sanity” Returning To The Market?
  63. Under The Radar California Wines
  64. More 2009 Wines
  65. A Tale of Two California Wineries – One New, One Old
  66. There Was A Legacy
  67. Surprising New Wines from Old-World Spain
  68. 2009 Beaujolais
  69. Lemmings to the Sea?
  70. 2009 Rosé
  71. Dom Pérignon in the Napa Valley
  72. A Burgundy Story
  73. A Vineyard 29 Estate Cabernet Sauvignon Retrospective Tasting
  74. Champagne or No?
  75. A Visit With Robert Lawrence Balzer -- Grand Ambassador of American Wine Culture
  76. Champagne -- The Wine of Kings

BIEN NACIDO ESTATE AND SOLOMON HILLS ESTATE

John Tilson • 8/29/14        Print This Post Print This PostComment Bookmark and Share

 Bien Nacido Vineyard 2014

Beginning in 2005 the Miller family, owners of the Bien Nacido and Solomon Hills Vineyards, began to make a small amount of wine under their new estate labels. Owners of Bien Nacido Vineyards since the 1970s, this vineyard has been the source of many great wines made by early wineries like Au Bon Climat and Qupé as well as newer wineries such as Tyler and Chanin. (To read about some of these wines click here  and here and to read about the history of the Bien Nacido and Solomon Hills vineyards click here.) The Solomon Hills Vineyard was planted in 1999 on the western edge of the appellation in a very cool area. Grapes from this vineyard are also being used now to produce some really terrific wines

Trey Fletcher

In 2011 Trey Fletcher joined the team as winemaker and general manager. Total production today is around 2200 cases and the 5 year plan is to move toward 4000 cases. But the objective is quality, not quantity. Today these wines are consistently some of the best being made in Santa Barbara County. I began tasting them in 2012. I first visited the winery in early 2013 and recently visited the winery again to taste the current wines.

The last 3 vintages were quite different, but all produced excellent wines. The 2011s and 2012s are both very successful vintages and 2013 may be even better. Time will tell. The 2011s from a cool year have a lot of elegance and finesse. The 2012 vintage produced a larger crop and the wines are characterized as supple and rounded with delicious ripe fruit. The 2013 yields were a bit lower than 2012 and the wines again show very pure supple fruit with an underlying crispness. Maybe like a cross between 2010 and 2012.

There are some really outstanding wines currently available and others that will be released this fall with the 2013s to follow next year. Don’t miss them. The wines are available in very limited retail distribution and from the winery (to get more information, get on the mailing list for future offerings, and inquire about wine purchases click here).  The current suggested retail prices for the wines is $43 for the Chardonnays, $57 for the Pinot Noirs, and $52 for the Syrah.

I am adding this winery to my recommended list of Central Coast wineries (to read that article click here)  and will be following the wines in the future. And, since I always like to eat my own cooking, I will be buying some of these wines for my cellar. I recommend that you do the same.

Bien Nacido Chardonnay labelSolomon Hills Pinot Noir label

Following are my notes on wines recently tasted at the winery :

Bottle

Current releases:

2012 Solomon Hills Chardonnay Santa Maria Valley
This vintage yielded 250 cases.
Light yellow color. Lovely perfume. Rich and full with very pure fruit accented by a touch of spice and citrus. Floral nuances. Very well crafted. Vice underlying crispness. A Chardonnay with great refinement and balance – Outstanding.    $43

2012 Bien Nacido Chardonnay Santa Maria Valley
This vintage yielded 250 cases.
The grapes for this wine came from vines planted in 1973.  Light yellow in color. Great perfume. Floral with hints of citrus and peach and a faint buttery nuance. Beautifully balanced. Full and rich with a honeyed quality and lush fruit. Underlying citrus tinge which gives the wine lift. Very special – Outstanding Plus.   $43

2011 Bien Nacido Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley
This vintage yielded 270 cases.
The grapes for this wine came from 3 different parts of the vineyard with 60% from old vines in block Q. This is a gorgeous wine of great finesse and style. Very nice color. Great floral berry perfume. Very pure fruit. Great intensity and depth with a real elegance. Delicous now, but with a long life ahead. A classic Pinot Noir – Outstanding Plus.    $57

Fall releases:

2012 Solomon Hills Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley
This vintage yielded 360 cases.
Deep color. Gorgeous floral berry perfume with just a touch of smokiness. Lots of rich supple fruit accented by a faint floral spiciness. Well structured and a bit restrained, this wine will benefit with decanting and some age. Great style – Outstanding.     $57

2011 Bien Nacido Syrah Santa Maria Valley
This vintage yielded 200 cases.
This is a great cool climate Syrah from a very cool year. It is stunningly pure and brimming with fruit. Dark in color. Deep blackberry perfume. Rich fruit. Balanced with great flavor. This is a delcious wine to drink now or lay away for a decade or more – Outstanding Plus.     $52

Barrel

Trey thinks the 2013 Chardonnays are his best vintage to date and he also thinks the 2013 reds are great as well. No question these are wines of great potential.

2013  Solomon Hills Chardonnay Santa Maria Valley
Light yellow color. Stunning floral perfume. Very pure, bright and crisp with lots of fruit and flavor. Beautifully balanced with great length – Outstanding Plus Potential.

2013 Bien Nacido Chardonnay Santa Maria Valley
Light yellow color. Gorgeous perfume. Floral and even a touch honeyed. Great fruit and intensity. Very pure and rich. Lots of fruit and a nice citrus tinge. Long finish. A very rich wine with great balance. This is special – Exceptional Potential.

2013 Solomon Hills Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley
Deep color. Great berry perfume. Floral nuances. Lots of very pure berry fruit. Flavorful and bright and crisp. Well structured. Lots of charm – Outstanding Potential.

2013 Bien Nacido Pinot Noir Santa Maria Valley
Deep color. Lovely floral tinged berry perfume. Quite rich with lots of fruit. Has depth and richness. Balanced with a crisp underlying core – Outstanding Plus Potential.

2013 Bien Nacido Syrah Santa Maria Valley
Dark color. Deep perfume of blackberry fruit. Rich and full and brimming with fruit, yet very well integrated and balanced. Lots of flavor. Great style – Outstanding Plus Potential.

Solomon Hills Vineyard

Post a Comment

2 comments for “BIEN NACIDO ESTATE AND SOLOMON HILLS ESTATE”

  • Great article! We will be linking to this particularly great article on our site.
    Keep up the good writing.

  • Post a Comment

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published.

    Enter Captcha Here : *

    Reload Image