A good share of Byron winemaking takes place in the vineyard, where winemaker Jonathan Nagy selects individual rows and blocks for their potential to express both variety and site; focusing particularly on clones that best exemplify Byron’s balanced, textural and site-expressive style.
90 Points – The Wine Advocate, September 2017
The Nielson Vineyard’s location at the warmer, eastern end of the Santa Maria Valley accounts for the wine’s dark color and ripe flavor profile. Prior to fermentation, the Pinot Noir clusters were 100% de-stemmed and kept cold for 5 days to accentuate the naturally smooth texture of our estate grown fruit. The wine shows aromas of blackberries, rose petals, dried herbs and earth. Flavors are driven by dark fruit, complemented by sandalwood, black pepper and crushed stone.
90 Points, – The Wine Advocate, September 2017
Julia’s Vineyard is home to Santa Barbara’s oldest producing Pinot Noir vines planted in the 1970s. The fruit for this wine was selected from two low vigor, “old vine” rows planted to the Pommard clone 4. During fermentation, a combination of punch downs and pump-overs is used to circulate the skins and juice, ensuring maximum extraction. A portion of this wine was barrel fermented to encourage oak components to integrate with the wine at an early stage. The core is infused with red fruit, cranberries and spice. The finish is long, smoky and elegant.
91 Points – The Wine Advocate, April 2017
91 Points – Matt Kettmann, Wine Enthusiast, April 2017
Perched on sandy bluffs overlooking the ocean, Sierra Madre is the coolest and westernmost vineyard that we source from in Santa Maria Valley. We selected the fruit for this Pinot Noir from a sandy block planted to Clone 667. After aging in Francois Freres barrels, the resulting wine expresses brambly red fruit and graphite with a hint of wilted rose petal, followed by bright acid and smooth tannins.
92+ Points, – The Wine Advocate, September 2017
Monument is our flagship Pinot Noir, blended from the finest barrels from the best blocks on our estate vineyard. Cold winds and sandy soils over adobe hard pan limit root growth in these blocks and lend this wine a great intensity, heightened aromatics and firm structure. The light crop in 2015 produced small berries and small clusters leading to a concentrated expression of Pinot Noir. Barrel fermentation adds distinctive smoky notes and hints of toasted brown spice while providing the wine with the backbone and depth to age gracefully.
90 Points – The Wine Advocate, April 2017
93 Points – Andy Blue, Tasting Panel, April 2017
Byron’s bottling from the high-elevation Rita’s Crown Vineyard is noteworthy for its savory profile, accentuated by our use of new Taransaud barrels. The palate is rich, but focused with notes of black currants, pomegranate and brown spices along with an underlying salinity reminiscent of the wine’s coastal roots—Rita’s Crown is less than 15 miles from the Pacific Ocean.
90 Points – The Wine Advocate, September 2017
La Encantada is our westernmost vineyard site in the Sta. Rita Hills. Prior to fermentation, we de-stem all the clusters from this vineyard to preserve the expressive aromatics and juicy textural elements that are signatures of this organically farmed site. Our La Encantada Pinot Noir has lush aromas of ripe black berries, violets, and a hint of spice. It is a hedonistic and powerful wine suited which benefitted from aging in new Francois Freres barrels.
94 Points – The Wine Advocate, April 2017
94 Points – Matt Kettmann, Wine Enthusiast, April 20177
One of the region’s newest and most exciting plantings, Jonathan Sebastiano Vineyard produces wines noted for their layered complexity. The nose is brimming with dark plums and strawberries alongside chalky mineral notes. A combination of partial barrel and 30% whole cluster fermentation yields a sublime and harmonious wine that boasts alluring aromatics, a textured palate and well-integrated tannins.
92 Points – Jeb Dunnuck, August 2017
93 Points – The Wine Advocate, September 2017
The Chardonnay vines in our Nielson Vineyard feature cuttings from the original “Wente” clone planted on our estate in 1964. The clusters we select contain an optimal mix of berry sizes: the larger, riper berries provide the wine’s rich stone fruit flavors while the smaller ones contribute to the wine’s firm acidity and underlying minerality. This wine benefits from cool temperature barrel fermentation utilizing native yeast, and the lees are stirred every two weeks for enhanced mouthfeel and texture.
93 Points – Jeb Dunnuck, August 2017
93+ Points – The Wine Advocate, September 2017
This Chardonnay from the famed Bien Nacido Vineyard is a blend of Pommard clones 4 and 95. Clone 4 offers citrus aromas of lemon curd, orange blossom, and key lime pie. Clone 95 delivers honey, fruit blossoms and red apple. This rich and multilayered wine displays wonderful texture and bright acidity with a hint of wet stone on the finish.