2017 Nielson Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County
2017 Nielson Pinot Noir Santa Barbara County This 2017 vintage opens with a floral and mineral character typical of Santa Barbara. Classically varietal with wild strawberry fruit, firm bright acidity and a fresh gentle mineral finish.
Nielson Wines pays homage to its namesake, Uriel J. Nielson, who in 1964 planted the first commercial vineyard in Santa Barbara County, a region previously considered too cold to grow grapes. Known as a viticulture pioneer, Uriel didn’t heed warnings from neighboring farmers and didn’t flinch in his stance that Santa Barbara County could be one among the top winegrowing regions in the world.
Today, five decades later, there are now more than 100 wineries and thousands of acres devoted to vineyards, producing wines recognized by critics worldwide for their amazing quality, uniqueness and compelling balance of flavor.
Nielson Wines continues in Uriel’s pioneering spirit, crafting ambitious wines that embody the freshness and vibrancy of our cool, coastal Southern California enclave. Each vintage, Winemaker Ryan Pace produces Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from some of the region’s most celebrated vineyard sites, with the original Nielson Vineyard serving as the backbone in most of the wines.
Pinot Noir is the dominant red wine grape of Burgundy, now adopted (and extensively studied) in wine regions all over the world. The variety’s elusive charm has carried it to all manner of vineyards. These extend from western Germany (as Spätburgunder) and northern Italy to Chile, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand and the USA. California, Oregon and New Zealand are arguably the greatest centers for the grape outside its home territory. However great Pinot Noir is made in all of these territories. The essence of Pinot Noir wine is its aroma of red berries and cherry (fresh red cherries in lighter wines and stewed black cherries in weightier examples).
Many of the more complex examples show hints of forest floor. Well-built Pinot Noirs, particularly from warmer harvests, suggest leather and violets, sometimes recalling Syrah. There are two theories regarding the Pinot name. One is that it came about because their bunches are similar in shape to a pine cone (pinot in French). It may derive, however, from a place name in France such as Pinos or Pignols from where cuttings were obtained. Pignols in the Auvergne, for example, has cultivated Pinot since the Middle Ages. It was previously believed that Pinot Noir, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Pinot Meunier, Pinot Précoce (Frühburgunder) et al were members of a “”Pinot Family”” of distinct grape varieties. But DNA profiling has shown them to share the same genetic fingerprint. Thus, they should properly be considered as mutations or clones of a common variety. “