Bien Nacido is one of the best known vineyards in California, supplying grapes to many great labels. Testarossa has a long relationship with Bien Nacido. Rob and Diana Jensen have been purchasing Pinot Noir from the estate since 1997. Testarossa works closely with the Miller family who owns the vineyard and manager, Chris Hammel. Bien Nacido is located in the cool climate Santa Maria Valley appellation, about an hour north of Santa Barbara.
This 2010 release marks the forteenth Testarossa Pinot Noir vintage from Bien Nacido. Eighty acres there were planted to Pinot Noir from 1973 to 2007. The three acres designated for Testarossa annually are Mt. Eden and 113 clones. The 2010 vintage was an exceptionially cool year everywhere in the state, including the Santa Maria Valley. Happily the fall rains held off so the fruit was allowed to hang as long as necessary to achieve phenolic ripeness - flavor and acidity matched to the necessary sugar levels. The Testarossa Pinot Noir blocks at Bien Nacido were picked on September 24 and 28. Upon arrival at the winery, the fruit was carefully hand sorted and allowed an extended cold soak. A gentle gravity flow process is used throughout the winery. The free run juice went through primary fermentation before being racked into French oak, of which forty-two percent was new. Secondary malo-lactic conversion occured naturally. The wine was allowed eleven months of barrel aging. Only 276 cases were produced.