Owner and Winemaker, Justin Willett was born and raised in Santa Barbara, CA and graduated with a BA in History of Art and Architecture from the University of California-Santa Barbara. In 2005, while working as the Assistant Winemaker at Arcadian Winery, he started Tyler Winery with a focus exclusively on exceptional vineyard sites throughout the Sta. Rita Hills and Santa Maria Valley within Santa Barbara County. Overtime, he has developed relationships with specific growers, who have seen how he works, enjoyed the wines he produces as well as respect the press Tyler has received. These growers respect the time and energy Justin spends in both the vineyards and the cellar.
Tyler is dedicated to producing wines of delicacy and balance, where structure and nuance are favored above all else. During production, the team tries not to over-extract but chooses to use more neutral oak in order for the fruit to fully express itself. Tyler Winery produces approximately 7500 cases.
2015 brought the earliest vintage of the decade so far. After the large 2013 and 2014 vintages and the continued drought, the vines put forth a fraction of the fruit than the previous two years. We were down approximately 30% overall but the result was exceptional quality and deep, powerful wines with great acidity.
Set across a small creek from the rest of the vineyard, Block 5 tends to produce a wine a little darker and richer than in other parts of the vineyard. Here the soils tend to be a bit more red in color and we find more clay as well. This combination of soil, along with the parent rock found about three feet down, provides ‘Block 5’ the opportunity to produce a wine with a bit more structure and depth. Structured with layers of pomegranate, citrus, blood, iron and meat. Soft, dusty tannins provide an elegant finish.
"The 2015 Pinot Noir Dierberg Vineyard - Block 5 is another drop-dead gorgeous beauty from Tyler. Dark and mysterious, containing a multitude of layers that are just waiting to emerge, the 2015 is fabulous. Readers should expect a virile, imposing Pinot that needs time to come together. Even with all of its intensity, the 2015 preserves remarkable focus as it captures the pedigree of this site.
(Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media, Sept 2017)