Bialla Vineyards2003 Bialla Vineyards
This is the first wine from this small producer from the 1,700-foot elevation of Atlas Peak. At first blush, the $80 price tag might seem high for a producer out of the box for the first time, and the wine may be a bit overwrought with oak. Plus, the alcohol percentage, a listed 15.5, might make it seem over-the-top. But you know what, those elements seem to have been put into their correct niches by winemaker Craig MacLean; and with a few years of age, I think everything will fall into place, making this newcomer a producer of note in the future.
The aromas of black fruit are gorgeous, as is the silky mouthfeel and elegance of the wine. The restraint of the individual components, while big in number, is to be commended. There is some chocolate here, perhaps from resting in 100 percent new French oak for 22 months. But there is also the presence of fine-grained tannins, which I think is typical of Atlas Peak fruit. Only 141 cases were made from the estate’s 3 ½-acre parcel.
Reviewed May 9, 2006 by Alan Goldfarb.
Other reviewed wines from Bialla Vineyards
2004 Cabernet Sauvignon
(Napa Valley)Alan Goldfarb 2/16/2007
Alan Goldfarb has been writing about and reviewing wine for 17 years. His reviews have been published in the St. Helena Star, San Jose Mercury, San Francisco Examiner, Decanter, and Wine Enthusiast, among others. Not once has he used a point system, star system, or an iconic symbol to quantify a wine. What counts in Mr. Goldfarb’s criteria when judging a wine is: how it tastes in the glass; is it well-constructed; its food compatibility; and presence of redeeming regional attributes.