Press


Reviews

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January 2018


2015 ALFARO FAMILY VINEYARD PINOT NOIR 94 points
2015 COAST GRADE VINEYARD PINOT NOIR 93 points
2015 WOODRUFF FAMILY VINEYARD PINOT NOIR 93 points
2015 COASTVIEW VINEYARD PINOT NOIR 93 points
2015 LESTER FAMILY VINEYARD PINOT NOIR 91 points


“I am always intrigued by the Pinot Noir wines from Big Basin because they offer considerable nuance and individuality. They are not at all like so many Pinot Noir wines produced currently in California and therefore challenge the drinker. The aromatics are more savory than fruity, the textures are interesting, and the tannins well balanced. The wines even have a little of that “funk” that one experiences with fine Burgundy reds.

This winery was founded by Bradley Brown and his sister Wendy Brown on an historic site next to Big Basin Redwoods State Park. The Pinot Noir wines are vnified in small lots using significant whole cluster fermentation, native yeast, and no additions other than sulfur dioxide after secondary fermentation is completed.

2015 was a classic, low yielding, high concentration vintage in the Santa Cruz Mountains according to Bradley. Years of drought followed by an early bud break and then spring rains reduced yields in most of Big Basin’s vineyards by 50% of normal. Summer was moderate to warm, bringing on rapid ripening during the harvest season. Winemakers had to be cautious to avoid picking excessively ripe fruit.”
 

2015 ALFARO FAMILY VINEYARD PINOT NOIR 94 points:
“Moderately dark garnet color in the glass. Enveloping aromas of blackberry, cassis, potpourri, fertile earth and ash. Satiny, smooth and flowing on the palate, with impressive richness that fills every nook and cranny in the mouth with serious intent. The mid weight flavors of purple grapes, blackberry, pomegranate, tea and tobacco really saturate the finish. Beautifully balanced, this wine’s mouthfeel is highly seductive. Still exceptional when re-tasted two days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle.”

2015 COAST GRADE VINEYARD PINOT NOIR 93 points:
“Moderately light garnet color in the glass. Highly aromatic, with hi-tone scents of cherry, rose petal, burnt tobacco and savory herbs. Light to mid weight in style, noticeably fresh and juicy, with flavors of red cherry and cranberry and a hint of tobacco framed by frisky acidity. The most vibrant and juicy wine in the 2015 lineup. Still pumping out enticing aromas when sampled two days after opening.”

2015 WOODRUFF FAMILY VINEYARD PINOT NOIR 93 points:
“Moderate garnet color in the glass. Aromas of underbrush, mulch and flower blossom persist in the glass. Quite restrained initially with a primarily savory undergrowth and earth character. When tasted later in the day from a previously opened bottle, this wine showed the most dramatic change, offering appealing mid weight flavors of blueberry, boysenberry, black cherry and spice.The silken mouthfeel attracts. Somewhat rigorous tannins need time to mollify. This is definitely a wine to lay down for a year or two.”

2015 COASTVIEW VINEYARD PINOT NOIR 93 points:
“Moderate garnet color in the glass. Seductive aromas that build over time in the glass including back cherry, spice, floral goodness, pipe smoke and fresh turned earth. Good richness in a mid weight plus style, with flavors of earth-kissed boysenberry and blackberry fruits with a riff of tobacco, toast and spice in the background. A lot going on in this wine with an inquisitive texture of suede and a prolonged finish.”

2015 LESTER FAMILY VINEYARD PINOT NOIR 91 points:
“Moderate garnet color in the glass. Very reserved and savory nose, offering aromas of earthy flora, vegetal juice and seasoned oak. Mid weight flavors of black cherry, black raspberry and burnt tobacco emerge royally over time in the glass. Silky in the mouth with gentle tannins and a quenching finish. The wine seems a bit closed even when re-tasted two days later from a previously opened and re-corked bottle.”