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The 2019 Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard offers a more exotic, iodine, marine-like style as well as beautiful ripe cherry and redcurrant fruits to go with plenty of briny, mineral, and chalky nuances. This is a wine for those who prize minerality over fruit, and it’s medium-bodied, with a focused, pure texture, ripe tannins, and outstanding length. I think it will show even better in a few years and keep for a good decade.Jeb Dunnuck | 94+ JDA light shade in the glass, this single-vineyard expression offers snappy aromas of currant alongside earthy hints of dusty rocks, dried herbs and cracked pepper. The structure is taut on the palate, where cranberry and green-peppercorn flavors are fresh and invigorating.Wine Enthusiast | 94 WEThe 2019 Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard opens with beguiling aromatics. Spicebox, blood orange, mint, orange peel and a dollop of whole cluster savoriness add nuance. Gracious and medium in body, the 2019 is all class. Interestingly, the Bien Nacido Pinot is quite a bit more reticent than the Chardonnay.Antonio Galloni | 93 AG
The 2019 Syrah Il Padrino Bien Nacido Vineyard comes from further north, in Santa Maria, and it was mostly destemmed as well and spent 19 months in close to two-thirds new French oak. More Jamet-like notes of ripe blackberries, smoked game, ground pepper, and spring flowers define the bouquet, and it’s full-bodied, with a perfectly balanced, multi-dimensional texture, incredible tannins, and a great, great finish. This is another brilliant, magical Syrah from Lato that flirts with perfection.Jeb Dunnuck | 98 JDThe 2019 Syrah Il Padrino Bien Nacido Vineyard is stunning with its quiet intensity, elegance and detail: blueberry pie, lilac and violet, prosciutto and mint chocolate define the nose. The medium-bodied palate is light on its feet, velvety in texture and seamlessly fresh, although it takes significant time in the glass to really unfold. Wow! It deserves 3-5 years to unwind in bottle and will be long-lived in the cellar. Drink Date 2024 - 2034 Robert Parker The Wine Advocate | 98 RPThe 2019 Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard Il Padrino is silky, perfumed and gracious right out of the gate. This is an especially airy Syrah from Bien Nacido. The tannins are so harmonious, they are barely perceptible. A touch of Viognier in the blend adds lift to varietal dark and savory flavors. The Bien Nacido Syrah is terrific.Antonio Galloni | 95 AG
The 2020 Chardonnay Katherine’s Vineyard is bright and wonderfully saline, with plenty of mineral and savory accents. Citrus peel, mint, white pepper, chalk and dried flowers open nicely with a bit of time. There’s terrific energy and plenty of cut. Most of this fruit is sourced from the own-rooted vines first planted in 1971.Antonio Galloni | 94 AGThe 2020 Chardonnay Katherine’s Vineyard is terrific and shockingly good given the quantities produced. Burgundian-like aromas of stone fruits, chalky minerality, honeyed flowers, and brioche all define the nose, and it’s medium-bodied, with a supple, rounded texture, integrated acidity, and a great finish.Jeb Dunnuck | 90 JDDried lime peel, seared lemon pith, white flower and a hint of grass show on the nose of this bottling. There’s an earthy, crushed rock element to the palate, where dried apple and herb flavors also arise. Wine Enthusiast | 90 WE
The 2020 Syrah Il Padrino Bien Nacido Vineyard also saw a touch of stems (5%) and was aged 19 months in two-thirds new French oak. Coming from a cooler site, it has a deep ruby/plum color as well as a great nose of ripe blackberry and mulberry fruits, notes of charred meat, iron, and baking spices, full-bodied richness, ripe and integrated tannins, and a great, great finish. Out of the two Syrahs, this beauty is a touch more balanced and elegant, and also has slightly more mid-palate density. Regardless, both are brilliant, singular wines that readers will love.Jeb Dunnuck | 98 JDThe 2020 Syrah Bien Nacido Vineyard Il Padrino is a brute. Most of the wines in this range are quite racy, but the Padrino is simply impenetrable as this stage. Blue/purplish fruit, lavender, mocha, gravel, dried herbs and menthol are some of the many notes that develop. There is some whole cluster influence, which adds complexity.Antonio Galloni | 96 AG
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