Mission Codename Mother mountains
We get asked almost every day for more outrageous Pinot deals.
Like single vineyard Pinot from famous top wineries for 27 bucks.
BYRON! Wine Spectator calls them “one of the best wineries in California’s Southern Central Coast.”
Is that famous enough?
Since 1984 that is! Yet as Jeb Dunnuck points out for their 2015s: “This set of Pinots from Byron and winemaker Jonathan Nagy is full of highlights. The forward, racy style that is such a signature of these wines remains.”
Nagy is one of the most sought-after consultants in the Santa Barbara winemaking realm. Bien Nacido, Solomon Hills, J. Wilkes are some of the wineries he’s worked with. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate “loved these latest (2015) releases from winemaker Jonathan Nagy, and they all show ripe, fruit-forward characters, with plenty of oak, yet they’re beautifully balanced and fresh” and somehow overlooked this particular wine, it has no reviews anywhere.
We searched, and searched, and decided to rate it ourselves. It’s at least 95+ points good, being the last vintage of Sierra Madre for Byron. Wine Advocate was spot on describing the previous vintage though, as they nailed exactly what we found in there: “Candied cherry, flowers, lavender, and spice all emerge from the 2014 Pinot Noir Sierra Madre Vineyard, which is another silky, seamless, and incredibly elegant Pinot Noir. It’s a sexy, charming, hard-to-resist effort which should evolve nicely on its balance.”
Which explains why every vintage of it is long sold out except for the very last of this one we snagged.
Highly fragrant on the nose, with mineral-laced scents of red berry liqueur, cherry cola, star anise, and candied flowers. Concentrated, while racy raspberry, cherry liqueur, and spice cake flavors show strong tension thanks to a nervy acidity spine that also adds structure. The blend of power and delicacy here is quite impressive. A haunting beauty that wraps it all up extremely long and sappy, featuring silky, plush tannins and lingering sweetness. With smoked ribs, for instance, it would pair divinely well.
Sierra Madre Vineyard has always hit big by the way, whether Au Bon Climat, Ken Brown, Paul Lato, Testarossa, or Arcadian made it, once owned, cherished, and replanted to perfection by Robert Mondavi himself. A mere 10 miles inland from the Pacific, according to Byron this prized site is “perched on sandy bluffs overlooking the ocean, Sierra Madre is the coolest and westernmost vineyard that we source from in Santa Maria Valley.”
Twenty-five bucks, you still here?
What the Winery Says
2015 Sierra Madre Vineyard SMV Pinot Noir
- Jonathan Nagy
- 100% Pinot Noir
- Sierra Madre Vineyard
- Santa Maria Valley, Santa Barbara County, Central Coast
- Soil Type
- Garey sandy loam and Pleasanton sandy loam
- 200 feet
- 16 months
- 100% French oak (50% New)