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: 2016 was a beautiful vintage - good yields, a moderate growing season and decent weather through harvest - that allowed us to nail the pick dates perfectly and make wines with minimal intervention.
Wine Notes: This wine materialized after my first trip to the Northern Rhone valley with visits to the cellars of some of my Syrah vigneron inspirations - Thierry Allemand, Pierre and Oliver Clape, Jean Paul Jamet, Pierre Gonen, among others. I understood better how much potential a 100% whole cluster fermentation has with the right fruit and vineyards. In 2016, one part of the Casita block at Coastview was slower to ripen being in a swale with more vine growth. We picked it a full 10 days later than the rest of the block and fermented it 100% whole cluster and it was this lot made the bulk of this wine. The aromatics during fermentation had us knowing that we had something special happening. Of all of our efforts at the Coastview Syrah, this might have one of the headiest, most brooding, savory and spicy noses yet! Ever evolving, at this tasting a powerful potpourri of cinnamon, cardamon, clove with a complex savory twist greats the nose. If that wasn’t enough, the texture of this wine is gorgeous. The tannins are just beginning to meld together - the fine, dense stem tannin and the silkier skin tannins. These tannins are critical because they pull the dark, intense fruit across the palate and stick it for long enough to contemplate - mulberry?, blackberry?, Ollalaberry? Huckleberry? We would love to know what you think! While totally irresistible right now, this wine has the potential for a long life in the cellar that will no doubt pay huge dividends. Get yours soon as i am stocking up myself and spreading the word.
Wine Reviews: “The 2016 Syrah Coastview Vineyard is bright, perfumed and lifted, with a lot of layers from the 90% whole clusters. It is also one of the most nuanced Syrahs in the range. Freshly cut flowers, sweet red plum, star anise, rose petal, spice and blood orange all grace this understated Syrah. The 2016 is a wine of considerable allure. All the best elements of the Big Basin house style come together effortlessly.” -Antonio Galloni, Vinous 94 points