This new vineyard first earned its wings with the 2013 vintage with a vineyard designated bottling of its own at ABC. It is very limited in production, so get it now. Runway Vineyards planted 16 acres of vines in 2008 on a 1,000 acre parcel. It is located near Bien Nacido Vineyards in the Santa Maria Valley but the fruit from is very distinct: richer and more intense. The family-owned business was founded by Abel Maldonado, Jr. (California’s former Lieutenant Governor and Senator) and his daughter Erika Maldonado.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Score 96: The 2017 Pinot Noir Runway Vineyard is a stunning wine with incredible complexity and depth. Pale to medium ruby, the nose offers loads of angostura-like spices with touches of licorice, cola, mushrooms and a core of red and black berries. The medium-bodied palate is super spicy and layered with a soft frame and bright freshness, and it finishes very long. 400 cases produced.
Score: 94 "The 2017 Pinot Noir Runway Vineyard comes from a vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley and spent 18 months in 50% new French oak. Its deep ruby yet still translucent color is followed by beautiful sour cherry and ripe strawberry notes. Medium to full-bodied, it offers a round, elegant texture, plenty of underlying structure, and a great finish. It blossoms with time in the glass, showing more spice and floral notes as well as length, and I suspect it will be at its best from 2023-2033."
Wine & Spirits Magazine
Score: 93 From a fairly young vineyard planted near Bien Nacido, this pinot leads with scents of licorice and mint, and an exotic back note, like a Moroccan spice mix. The flavors remain resolutely savory, the spiced-strawberry and dark-cherry notes lined with flecks of nori. Refined, elegant and ageable; for smoked pork. (400 cases) —P.J.C.
Ken's Wine Guide
Score: 92 "This dark red colored Pinot Noir from Au Bon Climat was one of our top finishers in our recent mini-blind tasting. It opens with a Spanish cedar and blueberry bouquet with a hint of new leather and earth. On the palate, this wine is light to medium bodied, balanced, round and smooth. The flavor profile is a tasty mild strawberry and bubble gum blend with notes of cherry. We also detected hints of raspberry, light toasted oak and mushrooms. The finish is dry and its flavors and pleasant acidity show very nice length. The Panel suggested pairing this very nice Pinot with smoked salmon or teriyaki pork. Enjoy"