“The artist must be ready to be consumed by the fire of his own creation.” – Auguste Rodin
For centuries, winemakers have delighted in the unique spices imparted in their wines by fire-charring oak barrels. Barrel Burner wines take the best of the vineyard and complement the wine with alluring notes of toasted oak.
The Miller family’s California farming and ranching legacy dates to back to 1871 when William and Francis Broome moved from England to the West Coast of California and began farming in southern Ventura County.
The farming legacy was passed down to William Broome’s granddaughter Elizabeth, and following her marriage to Robert Miller in 1942, the Miller Family became the steward of the farming business.
In 1973, the Miller family developed a vineyard in the Paso Robles highlands and named it French Camp for the Basque shepherds who once populated the area. The area had a special allure thanks to the largest day/night temperature swings, mineral-rich soils, and the highest elevations in the regions.
The 1400 acres of French Camp provide the Miller Family with the highest quality fruit sources that help to create the highest quality wines.
Annnnddddd Wine 'Thusiast says:
90 Points. Rusty earth and muddy clay aromas make for a mineral-driven nose on the first sniff of this wine, which opens up with cranberry fruit. The earthy tones emerge on the palate too, where roasted black-plum flavors meet with smoke and dried mushroom as well. MK 9/1/21
That Tasting Panel review:
J. Wilkes 2019 Pinot Noir, Santa
93 Points. Aromas of cherrywood, mocha, oregano, and
tilled soil are heady and refined. Mocha-laden dark cherry, black plum, and Asian spices match with fine acidity and eloquent notes of wet earth and dark
berries. The mouthfeel is meaty and almost chewy, adding body to the soulfulness of the wine.
—Meridith May 8/21
A little blurb about J. Wilkes in Tasting Panel mag, page 76, here
Hello CaseMates peeps, I’m with the winery and happy to answer any questions! 2019 in Santa Barbara was a cool vintage with long time in Santa Maria Valley - so the Pinot Noir has a really nice combination of fruit, savory secondary notes and nice phenolics. In short, a very nice Pinot Noir vintage. The Millers are the founder and owners of Bien Nacido and Solomon Hills vineyards in the region, and J Wilkes is our AVA-focused brand. It is meant to what makes our home AVA so special for Pinot Noir. The wine has a lot of character at this pricing. Cheers!
Several years ago, at my previous employer, my wonderful assistant was Kelly, sister of Jeff Wilkes. Knowing that I was a wine aficionado, she often talked about her brother, his passion for wine (and sailing), and how she wished I could taste his Pinot Noir, which she said I would love.
My wines coolers already overfloweth, and I have more on the way, including a case of Pinot Noir, but I feel compelled to buy this.
@pseudogourmet98 thanks for the comment. Yes, it was Jeff’s winery originally and the Millers continued it in his honor. He was an important part of our history and helped develop our famed vineyard clients at Bien Nacido!
Very disappointed no rats on this one. Honestly for the cost of sending out a bottle or two? I place a lot of trust in the people running this site but I also highly value the community just as much. Sadly going to pass…
@gtcharlie You’re making a big assumption there, chalking it up stinginess. It wouldn’t be the first time there was a lack of coordination between the sender and the intended rat, resulting in an absence of rattage. Many a slip tween the cup and the lip, and all that.
@InFrom I guess I should have been more general in my criticism. Perhaps you are correct and there was a communication or shipping problem. If that were the case though would it be that hard for the casemates people to chime in and let us know that. I buy an awful lot of wine from this site because of the community and the people making those decisions. Guess in the end I was disappointed I had to pass on a wine I was very interested in purchasing.