Vineyard and Region Information: It is widely accepted that Syrah only reveals its true character, potential and vineyard terrior when planted on steep hillsides. Great vineyards in Hermitage, Cornas and in Cote Rotie are testaments to the labor of love nurturing the best expressions of the ancient Syrah grape. The Gabilan Mountains are a sizable range of rugged granitic and calcareous limestone rich mountains that run down the East side of the Salinas Valley, in Monterey County. Located six miles south of Calera's Mount Harlan AVA, the Coastview Vineyard is perched at 2,200 ft looking over the Salinas Valley, Santa Lucia Highlands and Monterey Bay. The region is hardly hospitable to any crop other than low yielding, character rich wine grapes. It's for this very reason that about half of our production is sourced from these remote mountainous vineyards. We love sharing the story of the Gabilan Mountains through our wines - Coastview Syrah was our first chapter of this story starting in 2007.
Vintage Notes: 2015 was a classic low yielding vintage that produced concentrated wines. Warm days in the early Spring led to early bud break. The weather then turned cold and wet with heavy fog and some light rain events during flowering. The result was a poor fruit set with yields suffering across all varieties in all of the vineyards we source fruit. The growing season was excellent so the fruit that was on the vines was able to ripen beautifully. The challenge came with rapid ripening and sugar level increases since the vines had little fruit to ripen. The 2015 Coastview Syrah is just a touch higher in alcohol at 14.2 than we have typically been seeing with our preferred ripeness levels, however, the grapes were still picked at the appropriate physiological ripeness level. The resulting wine is not at all jammy and shows all of the earthy and brooding elements we like to see without any hint of excessive fruit ripeness or jammy character.
Wine Notes: There is a certain brooding quality that one gets with Syrah grown in granite. This quality is highly prized in the Rhone valley and responsible for the world class reputation of Syrah grown on the granitic slopes of Hermitage, Cote Rotie and Cornas. We have held back this vintage as we have found Syrah can take a few years in bottle to unwind and express its true depth and character. The 2015 vintage is really starting to sing right now. The nose is a complex melange of savory meats, anise, plum, and cigar box. On the palate, it is full bodied with a brooding richness that unfolds and then finishes long. One might expect this wine to be more floral or feminine with 8% Viognier co-fermented, but the impact is barely perceptible. For all the richness and brooding depth of this wine, it is still vibrant and alive.
Wine Reviews: - Jeb Dunnuck, Jeb Dunnuck Report. 94 points “Seeing plenty of stems and 21% new oak, the 2015 Syrah Coastview Vineyard (8% Viognier) has an exotic, elegant, perfumed style that keeps you coming back to the glass. Blackberries, currants, green olives, bacon fat, and exotic floral notes (no doubt due to the Viognier) all flow to a medium to full-bodied, supple, oh, so pure, seamless Syrah that does everything right. Drink it over the coming decade. I’m a fan. ”