Wild Horse Winery and Vineyards
2006 Unbridled Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir
Pinot Noir • Bien Nacido Vineyard
California: Santa Maria Valley
What we say
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Mission Codename: Unbridled Love
Operative: Agent White
Objective: Acquire a small allocation of the Wild Horse Winery and Vineyards
Mission Status: Accomplished!
Current Winery: Wild Horse Winery and Vineyards
Wine Subject: 2006 Unbridled Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir
Winemaker: Clay Brock
California’s Central Coast region, and specifically Santa Barbara and San Luis Obisbo County has become one of the state’s premier regions for Pinot Noir. The generally warmer climate, moderated by the coastal fog, its sandy and clay loam soil, and broad exposure results in Pinot of exceptional purity.
The Bien Nacido Vineyard, in the Santa Maria Valley has a history that dates back to the 1830s, is one of the best Pinot Vineyards in the region. We are always excited to try the wines made from this fruit. The cooler climate and sand, chalk and sandy loam soil most influences the fruit and is ideal for Burgundian varietals.
Wine Spies Tasting Profile:
Look – Deep and dark ruby red with a crystal clear core that reflects ruby and garnet hues when held to the light. Along the edges, the color fades to a pinkish violet and when swirled, clusters of slow thin legs creep down to the wine below.
Smell – Bright aromas of fleshy and tart red fruit including pomegranate and raspberry with notes of white pepper spice. Layers of oak, herbs and vanilla blend with earthy undertones.
Feel – Smooth and rich, this medium to full-bodied wine has medium soft tannins and well balanced acidity. Subtle minerality and spice that lingers into the finish keeps this wine plush and approachable.
Taste – Soft and rich with flesh red raspberry, strawberry and pomegranate meld with earth and subtle spice. Layers of vanilla, oak, black tea and a hint of tobacco emerge as this wine glides over the palate. Fruit forward in style but well integrated with layers of classic Pinot complexity.
Finish – Long with fleshy and earthy fruit and a touch of minerality fade slowly leaving a lingering black tea and spice invite another sip.
Conclusion – The 2006 Wild Horse Winery and Vineyards Unbridled Bien Nacido Vineyard Pinot Noir is a soft and rich California-styled fruit forward Pinot that is easy and approachable in its flavors but doesn’t lack for earthy and spiced complexity. Nice minerality Enjoy this wine now or for several years to come.
WINEMAKER INTEL BRIEFING DOSSIER
Subject: Clay Brock
Date of Birth: October 18, 1962
Place of Birth: Bakersfield, Ca. (Raised in Napa, Ca.)
Wine Education: In the Cal Poly San Luis Obispo tradition, I learned by doing.
*California Wine Job Brief: *
Director of Winemaking, Wild Horse Winery, Templeton, Ca., 2 yrs.
VP-Winemaker, Zaca Mesa Winery, Los Olivos, Ca., 8 yrs.
Winemaker, Edna Valley Vineyard, San Luis Obispo, Ca., 4 yrs.
Asst. Winemaker, Byron Winery, Santa Maria, Ca., 3 yrs.
Winemaking Philosophy: Minimalist
Signature Varietals: Pinot Noir and Rhone Style Wines
Career Highlight: Working with talented Winemakers who were willing to share their knowledge with me.
Winemaker Quote: “If we add it we will make it taste good, if we don’t add it we will make it taste better.”
AGENT WHITE: Greetings, Clay. We are thrilled to be showing your [wine] today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.
WHITE: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?
BROCK: My Father was a Vineyard Manager in the Napa Valley when I was growing up.
WHITE: And where did you learn the most about winemaking?
BROCK: Each winery I have worked for has provided a steep learning curve, and an overall appreciation for wine.
WHITE: What is your winemaking style or philosophy?
BROCK: Minimalist approach to Winemaking. Be organized, be in tuned, but let the wines make themselves. Quality is determined in the vineyard.
WHITE: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?
BROCK: “Byron” Ken Brown of Byron Winery has probably been the most influential, but there have been many.
WHITE: How long have you been making wine?
BROCK: Since 1987
WHITE: Who do you make wine for?
BROCK: Selfishly, I make wine for myself. If I didn’t enjoy it, I wouldn’t do it.
WHITE: Tell me, what makes the Santa Maria Valley so special?
BROCK: The Pacific Ocean influenced, cool climate resulting from the unique west to east orientation of the mountain ranges.
WHITE: What is one piece of advice that you would give to someone that is considering a career as a winemaker?
BROCK: Never believe you have it all figured out, and in the words of John Wooden, “Be quick, but don’t hurry.”
WHITE: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?
BROCK: Busy monitoring the progress of the 2009 wines. Admittedly dreaming of a little time off to spend with the family during the holidays.
WHITE: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today
BROCK: Classic Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir. Very California in style, big and bold, but not heavy.
WHITE: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?
BROCK: It was great with our Thanksgiving dinner!
WHITE: Please share one thing about yourself that few people know
BROCK: I don’t like condiments.
WHITE: What is your favorite ‘everyday’ or table wine?
WHITE: How would you recommend that people approach your wines, or wine in general?
BROCK: Give it a shot, if you like it drink it. Don’t obsess over it.
WHITE: If you could choose any one wine to drink (regardless of price or availability), what would it be?
BROCK: White Burgundy
WHITE: What is the one question that I should have asked you, and what is your answer to that question?
BROCK: As a “Wine Spy”, could you be trusted with trade secrets?
Answer: I would give in to White Burgundy.
WHITE: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and about your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!
Wine Spies Vineyard Check:
The location of the Bien Nacido Vineyard in Santa Maria can be seen in this satellite photo.
What the winery says
About This Wine:
The 2006 Unbridled Pinot Noir from Bien Nacido Vineyards is earthy and spicy, with underlying cherry and strawberry fruit tones. Aged for 10 months in 100% French Oak barrels, we selected only the finest grapes to produce an extremely limited bottling. This fantastic wine is sure to impress any wine lover!
Tasting Notes: The mouth feel contains classic Pinot Noir fruit flavors of raspberry and strawberry complimented with hints of cinnamon and vanilla from 100% French Oak aging.
Food Pairing: Pair this elegant Pinot Noir with pork tenderloin with cherry sauce or cedar planked salmon.
About The Winery:
At Wild Horse Winery & Vineyards, the free-spirited attitude, driving curiosity and passion for fine winemaking are what make us unique. Located south of Paso Robles, in Templeton, California, Wild Horse Winery & Vineyards creates compelling wines from 16 diverse appellations and more than 50 vineyards from the Central Coast. “Live Naturally, Enjoy Wildly” reflects the attitude and personalities of the people who have been creating these wines for over 25 years.
About The Winemaking Team:
Clay Brock, Director of Winemaking, joined Wild Horse Winery & Vineyards in 2008, after spending seven years as the Vice President of Winemaking at Zaca Mesa. His tenure in the industry includes winemaking positions at Edna Valley Vineyards and Byron Vineyards in Santa Maria after graduation from Cal Poly.
Chrissy Wittmann, Winemaker, joined Wild Horse Winery & Vineyards in 2007 after ten years of winemaking experience at Scheid Vineyards, Courtside Cellars and Meridian. She earned her degree in Biology and a Masters Degree in Agriculture from Cal Poly.
Wine Type: Red Wine
Varietal: Pinot Noir
Appellation: Santa Maria Valley
Aging: 100% French Oak
Alcohol: 14.6 %