2018 Bien Nacido Vineyards, The XO Reserve Syrah, Santa Maria Valley, California, USA

2018 Bien Nacido Vineyards, The XO Reserve Syrah, Santa Maria Valley, California, USA

Product: 20188172215
Prices start from £97.00 per bottle (75cl). Buying options
2018 Bien Nacido Vineyards, The XO Reserve Syrah, Santa Maria Valley, California, USA

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A deep, inky hue and enticing aromas of blackberries and violets. Rich and velvety on the palate, flavours of ripe plum and black pepper intertwine harmoniously. A wine with balance of power and elegance, leaving a long, spicy, and memorable finish. Needs time in the bottle to settle, but will be drinking well from 2025.

Joshua Friend, Senior Account Manager, Berry Bros. & Rudd

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Critics reviews


Always among California's best Syrahs, XO is sourced from Bien Nacido Vineyards' famed X-Block. These vines were planted in 1973, this section being grafted to Syrah in 1987. The nose is wild and animalistic, showing off beef jerky, olive tapenade, roasted meat and espresso. Upright and sturdy on the palate, bright black fruits give a wonderful lift to the savoury, earth-driven finish. A benchmark for Santa Barbara County.

Drink 2021 - 2046

Matthew Luczy, Decanter.com (December 2020)

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About this WINE

Bien Nacido Estate

Bien Nacido Estate

Located in the Santa Maria Valley of California's Central Coast, Bien Nacido Estate has a rich history dating back to the early 1970s when it was founded by the Millers, a farming family. The name "Bien Nacido" translates to "well born" in Spanish, reflecting the region's fertile soil and favourable climate.

More specifically, the vineyard is situated in the northern part of Santa Barbara County, which benefits from the unique maritime influence, with cool breezes from the nearby Pacific Ocean moderating temperatures and extending the growing season.

The terroir of Bien Nacido is characterised by its well-drained soils, predominantly made up of gravelly loam. Combined with the cool climate, this provides ideal conditions for growing premium wine grapes, particularly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, along with other varietals such as Syrah and Nebbiolo.

The vineyard management at Bien Nacido strongly emphasises sustainability and environmental stewardship. Practices such as organic farming, water conservation, and habitat preservation are prioritised to ensure the land's long-term health.

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Santa Maria Valley

Santa Maria Valley

Located in Santa Barbara County, California, Santa Maria Valley is known for its unique climate, known as the Santa Maria Valley AVA (American Viticultural Area), which significantly influences the winemaking process and the resulting wines.

The climate is typically cool and moderate, strongly influenced by the nearby Pacific Ocean. The region experiences a combination of maritime and inland influences, with foggy mornings, mild days, and cool evenings. This unique climate helps to preserve the natural acidity and delicate flavours of the grapes, making it ideal for producing high-quality wines.

Several grape varieties thrive in the region, with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay being the most prominent. Pinot Noir grapes benefit from the region’s cooler climate, producing wines with complexity, elegance, and bright red fruit flavours. Chardonnay grapes also flourish in the Valley’s climate, producing wines with crisp acidity and balanced flavours.

The Winemakers focus on minimal intervention and sustainable practices, allowing the unique characteristics of the grapes and terroir to shine through in the wines. Many wineries employ traditional winemaking methods, including hand-harvesting the grapes and using open-top fermentation vessels for red wines. Some producers also use oak ageing to add complexity and texture to their wines.

The Santa Maria Valley is home to several notable wineries and vineyards, each contributing to the region’s reputation for producing exceptional wines. One of the most renowned wineries in the area is Au Bon Climat.

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A noble black grape variety grown particularly in the Northern Rhône where it produces the great red wines of Hermitage, Cote Rôtie and Cornas, and in Australia where it produces wines of startling depth and intensity. Reasonably low yields are a crucial factor for quality as is picking at optimum ripeness. Its heartland, Hermitage and Côte Rôtie, consists of 270 hectares of steeply terraced vineyards producing wines that brim with pepper, spices, tar and black treacle when young. After 5-10 years they become smooth and velvety with pronounced fruit characteristics of damsons, raspberries, blackcurrants and loganberries.

It is now grown extensively in the Southern Rhône where it is blended with Grenache and Mourvèdre to produce the great red wines of Châteauneuf du Pape and Gigondas amongst others. Its spiritual home in Australia is the Barossa Valley, where there are plantings dating as far back as 1860. Australian Shiraz tends to be sweeter than its Northern Rhône counterpart and the best examples are redolent of new leather, dark chocolate, liquorice, and prunes and display a blackcurrant lusciousness.

South African producers such as Eben Sadie are now producing world- class Shiraz wines that represent astonishing value for money.

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