Tyler La Rinconada Vineyard Pinot Noir 2021


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“The 2021 Pinot Noir La Rinconada Vineyard is a wild wine. Effusive aromatics, bright red-toned fruit, cedar and tobacco soar out of the glass. There is something exotic and elusive about the Rinconada, as if all the elements aren’t totally put together just yet. I would give the 2021 a good bit of aeration and see what happens. Drinking window: 2025-2036. 91 points

Justin Willett continues to expand his formidable empire. Readers will note a number of new releases in this year’s collection. When I first met Willett, a dozen years ago, Tyler was a new winery working exclusively with purchased fruit. Today, Tyler owns two estate vineyards, the new Mae Estate and the historic Fiddlestix, both in the Sta. Rita Hills, and produces a far wider range of wines. That is a dramatic transformation in a very short period of time. In general, the Chardonnays see 10 months in barrel followed by 6-8 months in tank. The Pinots spend 18 months in barrel, 33-100% new depending on the wine, with minimal to no racking during that time. There are a ton of highlights here, but I was especially impressed with the Mae and Rinconada Chardonnays and the Fiddlestix and Rinconada Pinots. Although Willett built his reputation on Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, in recent years, he has shown just as much talent with Cabernet Sauvignon.”

Antonio Galloni, Vinous (09/23)