The 2010 Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard Block 8 is another super-impressive wine from Foxen. It combines some of the ethereal feel of the Julia’s with the weight of the Sea Smoke. If that sounds appealing, believe me, it is. This is a marvelous Pinot loaded with class and finesse. The Bien Nacido Block 8 (along with the Julia’s) is one of the least expensive of the 2010 Pinots, yet I find it the most compelling of the bunch. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2020. (AG)
Vivid ruby. Intensely perfumed nose offers an array of red and dark berry scents, along with Asian spices, smoky minerals and sassafras. Broad and sappy in the mouth, with fresh raspberry and blackberry flavors, a velvety texture and slow-building oak spices. Gains freshness and energy with air, finishing spicy and long, with gentle tannins. (JR)
This is a big, ripe, full-bodied Pinot Noir--as big as the variety gets in California. But it never loses balance, by virtue of the brisk acids, silkiness and dry finish. This wine always impresses for its sheer, Incredible Hulk volume.
Tightly structured, with beam of spicy floral aromatics and firm blackberry, wild berry, spice and boysenberry flavors that linger, ending with crushed rock. Drink now through 2023. (JL)
A pungent and expressive nose offers up very ripe notes of spiced plum, menthol and cola aromas. There is an overtly opulent and lavish mouth feel to the solidly complex big-bodied flavors that offer fine length. This is a big pinot yet retains relatively good balance as there is only a trace of finishing warmth. If you enjoy large-scaled pinot, this would be one to consider.
Block 8 was planted specifically for Foxen in 1996 to a mix of heritage and Dijon clones. The steep south-facing slope ripened this 2010 toward dark aromas of plum and cola, resulting in a distinctly posh rendition of Bien Nacido fruit. Still, at around 1,000 feet of elevation, Block 8 also catches plenty of coastal wind--perhaps that’s why, despite its ripeness, the wine feels firm; with air, the tannins grow intriguingly smoky, framing tangy fruit reminiscent of a perfectly-ripe black plum. It should gain stature over the next few years, providing a generous, exuberant pairing for roast duck.
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