Vineyard: Nielson

OwnerJackson Family Wines
AppellationSanta Maria Valley
VarietiesChardonnay, Pinot Noir

Wineries sourcing from this vineyard

Reviewed wines produced from this vineyard

2012 Byron Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.46, TA 0.56, 9,919 cases, $29. Fruit primarily from the estate Nielson Vineyard (both old and newer vines) with a smaller amount from the Sta. Rita Hills. Aged 16 months in 18% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish purple color in the glass. The nose attracts with aromas of spiced strawberry and raspberry, violets and vanillin oak. There is plenty of luscious spiced berry and plum fruit but it is somewhat overwhelmed by oakdriven notes of vanilla and dark chocolate. Easy to drink with submerged tannins, finishing a bit shallow and short. Score: 86. Reviewed July 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Ken Brown Santa Barbara County Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 656 cases, pH 3.71, TA 0.56, $35. Magnums available. Sourced from Rio Vista Vineyard, Garey Vineyard, Nielson Vineyard, Sierra Madre Vineyard and Buena Terra Vineyard. 53% from Santa Maria Valley and 47% from Sta. Rita Hills. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Pleasing aromas of black cherries, ripe berries and echoes of oak. Very tasty black cherry core with hints of red hard candy and spice and an earthy undertone. A very approachable mid weight offering with mild tannins and a silky mouth feel. Almost weightless. You won’t find a better AVA blend in the marketplace. Score: 91. Reviewed November 9, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2012 Byron Nielson Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $36. Released November 2013. Clones 114, 667 and Pommard from Santa Barbara’s first commercial vineyard. Aged 11 months in 35% new French oak. · Dark reddish purple color in the glass. A dark-fruited wine with aromas and flavors of plum, black currant and blackberry with an earthy and brown spice underpinning. Mid to full-bodied, with hints of grilled mushroom and dried herbs, and plenty of oak overlay. Velvety on the palate with good finishing intensity. Score: 89. Reviewed July 19, 2014 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Byron Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.74, TA 0.50, 15, 207 cases, $29. 100% estate-owned Nielson Vineyard fruit. This wine comes from both older Pinot Noir vines planted on their own rootstock and new vines planted to high density spacing with the latest clones and rootstocks. Aged 10 months in 20% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Very appealing aromas of black raspberries, black plums, spice, pine and nut-scented oak. Mid weight flavors of dark berries, cherries and plums with pleasing hints of cola, spice and herbal oak. A little earthy tone fills the background. This wine is noticeably lighter, fresher and crisper in this vintage. Good. Reviewed March 23, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Byron Nielson Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay

14.5% alc., pH 3.36, TA 0.59, 294 cases, $32. Released November 2012. Santa Barbara’s first commercial vineyard planted by Uriel Nielson in 1964. The Byron Estate is located on the site of Nielson’s original plantings. Clone 95 and Wente. 100% native yeast barrel fermented with 100% malolactic fermentation. Aged 12 months in 40% new French oak barrels. · Moderate golden yellow color and clear in the glass. Reserved aromatically with shy aromas of honey, vanilla and pastry cream. Full-flavored core of lemon drop, baked pear, honey, gingerbread and caramel. Very plush and creamy on the palate, lacking a little grip, but exhibiting accomplished use of oak as an adjunct. Score: 87. Reviewed July 21, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Byron Nielson Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $36. From Santa Barbara’s first commercial vineyard. Clones 114, 667 and Pommard. Small yields. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The aromatics are captivating with a complex array of black raspberry, blackberry, spice and floral aromas which hold up well over time in the glass. The dark red and black berry fruits are perfectly ripe and bright. There is a complimentary accent of spice and oak with an earthy undertow. This wine offers impressive clarity and tension and is very easy to drink now. I liked it increasingly over time. Score: 93. Reviewed August 14, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Ken Brown Nielson Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Chardonnay

14.2% alc., pH 3.33, TA 0.63, 138 cases, $38. Sourced from replanted vines using cuttings from the original old vines including Wente clone. Ken has worked with this vineyard for more than 30 years. Whole cluster pressed, barrel fermented, 75% malolactic fermentation, aged sur lie 10 months in 17% new French oak barrels. · Light golden yellow color and clear in the glass. I was enchanted with the nose that offered aromas of tropical fruits, pear, buttered brioche and slate. Delicious compliment of lemon, baked pear and apple flavors with the slightest hint of complimentary French oak. The wine really brings you to attention on entry and holds on for a satisfying, acid-driven finish. Very soft in the mouth and appealing now, but has the balance for a long life in the cellar. Score: 94. Reviewed November 9, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2011 Ken Brown Nielson Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.66, TA 0.53, 231 cases, $42. A new vineyard designate from Ken. Sourced from a replanted block (2000) under the direction of Ken Brown in collaboration with the Mondavi family who owned the property at the time. High-density spacing of Dijon clone 115. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Uplifting aromatics of dark cherries and spice with a hint of seasoned oak. Satisfying charge of earth-kissed black cherry fruit on the mid palate with a hint of dried herbs in the background. The tannins are suede-like and dry, the balance is spot on and the finish is replete with black cherry goodness. Nothing is out of place. An excellent cellar candidate. Score: 92. Reviewed November 9, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Byron Clone 667 Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., pH 3.69, TA 0.53, 50 cases, $45. A small lot wine that is part of the winery’s experimental approach to winemaking. Sourced from the estate Nielson Vineyard. 10% whole clusters. Aged 16 months in 100% new French oak barrels. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Reserved, but pleasant array of darker fruit aromas with a sexy perfume of a fine Prada leather coat. Earthy and meaty, relatively big, but polished, with a delicious core of well-spiced dark fruits, backed by firm, but balanced tannins. A very satisfying wine that only falls a tad short on the finishing length. Very good. Reviewed May 5, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Byron Monument Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.62, TA 0.57, 225 cases, $60. A small lot wine that is part of the winery’s experimental approach to winemaking. From Sanford & Benedict selections. A barrel selection that represents the finest red wine made each year. Aged 16 months in 100% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. A bit exotic and highly alluring on the nose with aromas of black cherry pie glaze, blackberries and spice. Earth-kissed array of darker stone and berry fruits that gently saturate the palate, finishing with a remarkable kiss of spiced raspberries. Velvety smooth in the mouth with ripe, balanced tannins and judicious presence of oak. Not overwrought like so many reserve-type wines. A complete wine that gets better and better over time in the glass. “Monument” is an appropriate name for this exceptional offering. Reviewed May 5, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2010 Byron Whole Cluster Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.0% alc., pH 3.62, TA 0.57, 225 cases, $60. Aged 16 months in 100% new French oak barrels. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Bright black cherry and spice aromas with oak-driven notes of coffee and smoke. Well-endowed with an intensely flavored core of black cherry fruit balanced with firm but powdery tannins and accented with oak. Has enough acidity to carry the fruit and tannin load. Soft and silky on the palate. Great potential here, but needs more time for the oak to integrate. Very good. Reviewed May 5, 2013 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2009 Byron Nielson Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., 1,028 cases, $34. From Santa Barbara’s first commercial vineyard, planted in 1964. Clones are 2A, Swan, 667, 828, 114, 115, 777. Small yields and tiny berries from a windy, arid site producing low-vigor. Aged 16 months in 30% new French oak barrels. · Highly aromatic with scents of plum reduction sauce, dark roses, lavender and Santa Maria spice. The flavors of dark plums, purple grapes and dark berries are quite distinctive and zesty, with an impressive aromatic lift of black cherries on the finish. A little earthy, a little spicy, with well-proportioned fine-grain tannins and a pleasingly smooth mouth feel. Drank beautifully the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Immensely satisfying. (Note: the 2009 Byron Santa Maria Valley bottling at $25 is quite good as well and was reviewed previously) Reviewed March 2, 2011 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2007 Kenneth Volk Vineyards Nielson Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.4% alc.. Clones 2A and Pommard. · Expressive and charming nose of fresh cherries and strawberries. Fruit flavors tend toward the redder spectrum. Lighter-styled and enticing. Very good. Reviewed March 11, 2010 WINERY » ARTICLE »

2004 Byron Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 17,609 cases, $25. A blend of grapes from the Nielson Estate Vineyard (90%) and Bien Nacido Vineyard (10%). Aged 10 months in 25% new French oak barrels. · This wine has a pleasurable perfume of raspberries, plums and oak. The flavors feature darker fruits enhanced by notes of leather and oak. An elegant, silky styled wine with a nice little cherry kick at the end. The tannins are well-integrated. Cellaring for six months should mellow the oak flavors. A solid daily drinker. Reviewed June 19, 2006 WINERY »

2003 Byron Nielson Vineyard Santa Maria Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 418 cases, $40. A special bottling using a combination of 115, Pommard and Swan clones from one of the original Nielson Vineyard blocks used in experimental plantings. The block is high on the shoulder of the Santa Maria bench, which limits the soil depth and gives the site a slightly better exposure. Yield was a measly 1.5 tons per acre. The wine was aged in 30% new French oak barrels for 10 months. · The nose is deeply endowed with dark berries, toast and chocolate, building in richness in the glass (always a good sign). Interesting dark Pinot fruits with a little hint of tobacco and baking spices. Soft, sexy, elegant and finishes clean. The touch of French oak on the finish should move toward brown spice as the wine ages. A real charmer. Reviewed June 19, 2006 WINERY »