J. Wilkes2004 Pinot Blanc, Bien Nacido Vineyards
(Santa Maria Valley)
For almost two decades, beginning in 1984, Jeff Wilkes worked for the Miller family, marketing and selling their grapes grown at Bien Nacido Vineyard. If anyone knows about Bien Nacido grapes, it’s Jeff Wilkes. So it seemed only natural, after all this time talking and tasting (as well as growing grapes) with other vintners and seeing how they do things, that he and his wife, Kimberly, would take the plunge and make wines under his own moniker.
Wilkes is a Pinot Noir specialist but he wanted to have a least one white wine on board and Pinot Blanc from Bien Nacido was the obvious choice. Also quite obvious is that this is a flat out fun wine, from the first sniff and swallow. The nose comes on strong with minerals and stone fruits. In the mouth, the fruit is very bright with a fine minerality and scintillating acidity. Though the ripe flavors of honeysuckle, lemon cream and apple blossom are apparent, the wine was fermented to dryness (and with no oak, nor malolactic). It retains its freshness, fruitiness and clean cut of minerality all the way though to the persistent finish. Frankly, this Pinot Blanc is so refreshing that it should be a "go to" wine by glass on restaurant wine lists.
Purchase this wine as part of the Bien Nacido Vineyards Collector’s Case, a unique offering of 12 vineyard designated wines from 12 different winemakers.
Reviewed April 3, 2007 by Dennis Schaefer.
Dennis Schaefer has been tasting and writing about wine for over 30 years, propelled by a continuing curiosity and burgeoning enthusiasm for discovering what’s in the bottle. Blessed with catholic tastes, he enjoys everything from the obvious to the sublime. A major requirement is that the vineyard, winery and winemaker consistently perform well and fulfill their potential. Balance, concentration and complexity are key to the tasting experience but, in the end, the purpose of wine is simply to give pleasure.