Balo Vineyards

Owner(s) Michelle Mullins, Tim Mullins
Contact
Web site www.balovineyards.com
 
Link to this site

Tim and Michele Mullins have been growing and selling grapes from their vineyard in Anderson Valley since their first crop in 2003. Buyers have included Amici, Lazy Creek and Drew. Originally planted in 1998 on Highway 128 in Philo, the roughly 8-acre Balo Vineyard is composed of Dijon 777, 828, 115, Pommard and Martini clones. Balo is the Latin word for "bleat" as in bleating ("baa baa") of sheep. The early settlers in the Anderson Valley of California brought sheep with them to provide food and clothing and the area became known for sheep herding and wool production. The Balo estate vineyard is planted on a former sheep pasture.

Beginning with the 2009 vintage, the owners held back some of their best fruit and began making wine under their own label. The first releases are a 2009 Pinot Noir and 2010 Rosé of Pinot Noir, crafted by noted winemaker, Jason Drew, who has sourced grapes from this vineyard.

A tasting room on Highway 128 was completed in 2006 and a new winery on the site is planned in 2011. Balo Vineyards wines are sold through the winery's online store.

Reviewed Wines

2013 Balo Estate Anderson Valley Vin Gris of Pinot Noir

13.4% alc., pH 3.18, TA 0.78, 110 cases, $22. Clones “828” and 777. Harvest Brix 21.2º. Whole cluster pressed. Vinified in 100% stainless steel. · Light pink color in the glass. Delicate but appealing aromas of strawberry jam and cherry. Easy to like for its juicy strawberry fruit flavor accented with a hint of herbs. Finishes very dry and slightly tart. Score: 89. Reviewed July 28, 2014 ARTICLE »

2013 Balo Estate Anderson Valley Pinot Noir Blanc

13.6% alc., pH 3.16, TA 0.72, 45 cases, $28. Clones “828” and 777. Harvest Brix 21.7º. Whole cluster pressed. Vinified in 75% stainless and 25% French oak. · Scents and aromas of pear and strawberry with hints of peach and lemongrass. Bright, with juicy acidity. Score: 88. Reviewed July 28, 2014 ARTICLE »

2012 Balo Anderson Valley Pinot Gris

Sourced from Donnelly Creek Vineyard in Boonville. Combination of 50% stainless and 50% neutral oak aging on lees. · Tropical fruit aromas lead to a brisk wine on the palate featuring flavors of pear, tropical fruits, lees and nutty oak. The finish offers uplifting refreshment. Score: 88. Reviewed July 28, 2014 ARTICLE »

2012 Balo Estate “Suitcase 828” Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.6% alc., pH 3.45, TA 0.65, 163 cases, $38. Harvest Brix 23.1º. Upright vines planted in 2003. 30% whole cluster fermentation, aged in 30% new French oak. · Moderate garnet color in the glass. Light to medium weight flavors of cherries, cranberries and raspberries with a spicy accent. Vivid and juicy with electric acidity and a cranberry-driven, soprano finish. Score: 89. Reviewed July 28, 2014 ARTICLE »

2012 Balo Estate Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.35, TA 0.69, 405 cases, $45. Clones are 777, 115, Pommard 5 and Martini. Harvest Brix 23.2º-24.5º. 30% whole cluster fermentation, aged in 30% new French oak. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. Invigorating aromas of black cherry, dark red berry, forest floor and dried herbs. Comforting fullness and velvety on the palate, with a core of modest tannins wrapped in layers of dark cherry and dark red berry fruits and a hint of spice. A complete wine with satisfying mid palate attack, bright underlying acidity, and welcoming finishing acidity. The structure of the wine should carry it for years. Score: 92. Reviewed July 28, 2014 ARTICLE »

2012 Balo Avenging Angel Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.9% alc., pH 3.41, TA 0.62, 152 cases, $55. 50% Balo Vineyard and 50% Angel Camp Vineyard fruit (1 ton of each) produced to remember lost family members and friends. Christian H. Maltby (deceased 9/11/01) and Edward P. Zalanick (deceased 1/3/04) are the inspiration. Clones are Pommard 5, 777, 667, Swan and Wädenswil. Harvest Brix 23.8º. 50% whole cluster. Aged in 15% new French oak. Alex Crangle is the winemaker. · Moderate reddish purple color in the glass. Shy aromas of red fruits, spice and sweet oak. A red cherry bombast that is bracing and very satisfying with a good cut of acidity, a subtle compliment of oak, and a fine-grain, velvety mouthfeel. Everything is in its place in this wine that should age nicely. Score: 92. Reviewed July 28, 2014 ARTICLE »

2011 Balo Anderson Valley Rosé of Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., 62 cases, pH 3.40, TA 0.66, $20.95 (sold out). 100% 777 clone. Saignée, aged in stainless steel barrels for 6 months, unfined. · Pretty red rose color with slight haze in the glass. Initially, very nice aromas of strawberries and red raspberries, changing in the glass to slight aromas of fresh cut apples and white raisins (acetaldehyde). Refreshing and crisp featuring red berry flavors with hi-tone citrusy acidity on the herb-toned finish. Decent. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2011 Balo Vineyards Estate Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., pH 3.52, TA 0.57, 211 cases, $40. Released May 1, 2013. Vinified by winemaker Jason Drew. Clones are 777, 828, 115, Pommard and Martini. Aged 15 months in 30% new French oak. · Light reddish-purple color in the glass. Delicate aromas and flavors of red fruits and herbs with a note of Asian 5-spice. Nicely integrated oak and soft on the palate. Highly approachable. Good (+). Reviewed June 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Balo Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.90, TA 0.63, 248 cases, $39.95. Released May 1, 2012. 1.5 tons/acre. 46% 777, 22% Pommard, lesser amounts of 828, 115 and Martini clones. Aged 11 months in 30% new French oak barrels. Unfined and unfiltered. Crafted by Jason Drew. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with aromas of deep red raspberries black cherries and rose bouquet. Moderately rich, earth-kissed flavors of black cherries with a hint of spice and cherry cola. Bright acidity, supple tannins and generous length. Very polished and sophisticated. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Balo Vineyards Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.59, TA 0.63, 248 cases, $39.95, released May 1, 2012. 46% 777, 22% Pommard, 16% 828, 11% 115, 5% Martini. 30% whole cluster. Aged 11 months in 30% new French oak. Unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of cherries and rose petals. Bright, brisk and juicy, with delicious flavors of fresh cherries elevated with vivid acidity. An exceptional wine. Very good (+). Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Balo Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.65, VA 0.78, 275 cases, $39.95. Tim and Michele Mullins have been growing and selling grapes from their 8.25-acre Balo Vineyard in Philo since 2003. In 2009, they held back some of their best fruit and started their own label. Jason Drew, who has been buyer of Balo fruit, is the winemaker. Clones are 777, 828, 115, Martini and Pommard. Inaugural vintage. Aged 11 months in 30% new French oak barrels and bottled unfined and unfiltered. · Moderate ruby color in the glass. A well-mannered wine with brightly floral perfume overlying scents of pedigreed cherries and raspberries with a complimentary touch of spice and oak. Ripe black cherry essence with an undertone of cola and earth, displaying impressive persistence on the generous finish. Nicely integrated tannins and acidity create a seamless character. Very good. Reviewed April 11, 2011 ARTICLE »