93 Points, Michael Rockich, AppellationsTen
It is said beauty lies in the eye of the beholder, but this 2016 is undeniably a beauty recently lying in the soil at Cambria Estate Winery in California’s Santa Maria Valley, a Pinot Noir hotbed. Radiating pretty ruby with brick-red hues, Julia’s Vineyard Pinot Noir has something to offer in every direction. Mainly, it embodies great depth of character while really wanting to please, and it does.
I have known and drank Cambria Estate wines for a long time, appreciating that their wines have always displayed quality. I was anxiously anticipating the 2016 version of Julia’s Pinot Noir.
The intensity of multidimensional flavor that Julia’s delivers didn’t require great heft. Quite the contrary, Julia’s 2016 is barely mid-weight. Those who refrain from trying this wine will forego an opportunity.
The nose on Julia’s opens with a slight tang reminiscent of Burgundy, while clearly speaking to Pinto Noir’s varietal character. This introduction is quickly followed by subtle and complex aromatics in the form of dried apricot, raisin, and a trace of pastry spice. With concise intensity the palate presents cranberries, rhubarb pie, and a hint of pomegranate. Shows fine-grained well integrated tannins and refined purity of fruit with notable balance. Displays clear focus while broadcasting amicability.
Julia’s is very responsive while continuing to evolve in the glass. This highly inviting Cambria Pinot Noir incurs nuances of change, seemingly adapting to the drinker. At 30-minutes the rich vibrancy intensifies with further intricacies! Next day – at least as fresh and complex as before.
Julia’s Vineyard lies on the Cambria Estate which is roughly in between the Bien Naciedo and Nielson vineyards. The vineyard was named after Proprietor Julia Jackson (Jackson Family Wines). The soil constituents are fossilized seashells, limestone, shale, and sand nurturing sustainably farmed vines half a century of age.
The regime included a seven-day cold soak in stainless, malolactic fermentation in barrel, and eight months in 28% new French Oak. Alcohol reads 14.2%. The winemaker is Jill Russel. User friendly on the pocketbook. A perfect pair with barbecued St. Louis-style ribs. About $25.
A sample for review.