Underground Wine Letter
Recently, I paid a visit to Tyler Winery in Lompoc, CA to taste the 2014 Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs with Justin Willet, the owner and winemaker. Some of the wines were released for sale in March and the rest will be released for sale in September. If you love Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, the Tyler wines are for you. I have been writing about Tyler winery and recommending the wines for the last 5 years. My previous articles are noted below:
TYLER WINERY April 2015
TYLER WINERY & CHANIN WINE COMPANY May 2014
WORLD CLASS CENTRAL COAST WINERIES January 2014
TYLER WINERY April 2013
T FOR TWO – TABLAS CREEK & TYLER TOO March 2011
The wines from Tyler have been amazingly consistent from year to year. Last year, the 2013s were stunning (to read that article click here) and these 2014s from yet another drought year are also very impressive. The 2014 vintage was also another early vintage. Justin describes the 2014 vintage as a nervous vintage in the sense that it was hard to know what to expect. Now that the 2014s are bottled the quality is very evident. Once again, the Tyler Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs are wines to buy!
I tasted 5 2014 Chardonnays. The Zotovich Family Vineyard, Dierberg Vineyard, and La Rinconada are the current releases. The Bien Nacido W Block and Sanford & Benedict Vineyard will be released September.
2014 Tyler Chardonnay Zotovich Family Vineyard Santa Rita Hills
The production of this wine was 142 cases and it was released in March.
Light yellow in color the wine shows a subtle citrus tinged floral perfume. On the palate the wine is bright and crisp with very pure citrus tinged fruit. This Chardonnay is flavorful now, but should round out with some additional bottle age – Outstanding. $45
2014 Tyler Chardonnay Dierberg Vineyard Santa Maria Valley
There were 177 cases of this wine produced and it was released in March. Light yellow in color with a subtle floral perfume the wine has very pure fruit and is bright and crisp with lots of flavor richness balanced by a nice underlying crispness. Additonal bottle age should bring the wine together and it should drink well for many years – Outstanding. $50
2014 Tyler Chardonnay Bien Nacido Vineyard W Block Santa Maria Valley
The production of this Chardonnay is 226 cases. It is made from grapes grown on vines that were planted in 1973. It is slated for a September release.
Light yellow in color the wine has lovely floral citrus perfume tinged with white peach. With lot of intensity and fruit, this is a gorgeous beautifully balanced Chardonnay with the potential of further development over the next several years – Outstanding Plus. $55
2014 Tyler Chardonnay Sanford & Benedict Vineyard Santa Rita Hills
The production of this wine is 225 cases and it will be released in September. Made from grapes grown on the original vines planted here in 1971, this Chardonnay shows the depth and intensity of the old vine fruit.
It is light yellow in color with a gorgeous floral spice perfume tinged with peach. Flavorful with lush fruit accented by a faint citrus nuance, the wine has depth and richness with a balanced underlying crispness. This is a Chardonnay that should develop beautifully over time –Outstanding Plus. $60
2014 Tyler Chardonnay La Rinconada Vineyard Santa Rita Hills
The production of this wine is 142 cases and it was released in March. Light yellow in color the wine has a deep perfume with a floral citrus tinge. The fruit shows depth and purity with an underlying citrus tinge and there is a faint floral nuance. This is a really lovely Chardonnay with lots of early appeal along with the promise of development well into the future – Outstanding. $60
I tasted 8 2014 Pinot Noirs. The Bien Nacido Vineyard and Bentrock Vineyard are the current releases. The Dierberg Vineyard Block 5, La Encantada Vineyard, Bien Nacido Vineyard Old Vines, Bien Nacido Vineyard N Block, Sanford & Benedict Vineyard Old Vines, and La Rinconada Vineyard will be released in September.
2014 Tyler Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard Santa Maria Valley
Released in March the production of this wine is 250 cases.
It has a deep color with a lovely cherry and berry perfume with hints of spice. With lovely fruit the wine is elegant and rounded with richness and depth and a firm underlying structure. It should develop beautifully and round out with some additional bottle age – Outstanding. $50
2014 Tyler Pinot Noir Bent Rock Vineyard Santa Rita Hills
There are 150 cases of this wine that were released in March. The production for this wine comes from only ½ acre of the 4 acre vineyard. It has a deep color and a great floral tinged perfume. Very expressive and brimming with fruit the wine is rich yet well structured. It is lovely to drink now, but should evolve beautifully over time – Outstanding Plus. $60
2014 Tyler Pinot Noir Dierberg Vineyard Block 5 Santa Maria Valley
There are 350 cases of this wine that will be released in September.
It has a deep color and a lovely floral perfume with hints of cherry. The wine has lots of supple fruit and is flavorful with a nice underlying crispness. Delicious now, this is a Pinot Noir that should age and improve over many years – Outstanding Plus. $50
2014 Tyler Pinot Noir La Encantada Vineyard Santa Maria Hills
There are 175 cases of this wine that will be released in September.
The yields here are very low and the wine shows a lot of concentration. It has a deep color and a gorgeous perfume showing floral spice undertones. On the palate, there is lots of very pure plum and blackberry fruit with floral tinges and the wine is balanced and flavorful – Outstanding Plus. $55
2014 Tyler Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard Old Vines Santa Maria Valley
The production of this wine is 125 cases and it is scheduled for a September release.
The wine is made from grapes grown on the oldest vines at Bien Nacido which are over 40 years old. Deep in color the wine has a lovely cherry perfume with floral nuances and a faint hint of spice. Lush and rounded the wine has lots of fruit and intensity and is balanced with a long finish. It is lovely to drink now, but will evolve over many years into the future – Outstanding Plus. $65
2014 Tyler Pinot Noir Bien Nacido Vineyard N Block Santa Maria Valley
There are 75 cases of this wine which will be released in September. It represents a selection of 3 barrels made from old vine fruit on the Bien Nacido N Block. Wines made from grapes grown on this block can go into 4 different Tyler wines.
With a deep color the wine has a great floral berry perfume with a faint cassis tinge. Very flavorful with very pure supple fruit and balanced with a long finish, this is a really lovely Pinot Noir with a long life ahead – Exceptional. $75
2014 Tyler Pinot Noir Sanford & Benedict Vineyard Old Vines Santa Rita Hills
The production of this wine is 150 cases and it will be released in September. It is made from fruit grown on the original Sanford & Benedict plantings which date back to 1971. This old vine fruit produces a wine of exceptional richness. The 2013 Sanford & Benedict Vineyard Old Vines I tasted again this year and it once again showed beautifully. And, like the stunning 2013, this 2014 is yet another great Sanford & Benedict Vineyard Old Vines Pinot Noir.
It has a deep color and an intense floral perfume. With loads of fruit the wine has intensity and depth with great balance and impressive length on the palate. This is a great Pinot Noir that will age beautifully – Exceptional. $85
2014 Tyler Pinot Noir La Rinconada Vineyard Santa Rita Hills
This is the second vintage for this wine which is produced from a small parcel of less than an acre. The production is 125 cases and it will be released in September.
The wine has a deep color and a lovely black cherry tinged perfume with floral nuances. Showing lots of black berry fruit this is a Pinot Noir that is expressive and rich with a great underlying structure. It should age beautifully over a long period of time – Outstanding Plus. $70