2012 COASTVIEW VINEYARD PINOT NOIR – (93-95) points
2012 COASTVIEW VINEYARD SYRAH – (93-95) points
2012 ALFARO FAMILY VINEYARD PINOT NOIR – (92-94) points
2012 RATTLESNAKE ROCK SYRAH – (92-94) points
2011 RATTLESNAKE ROCK SYRAH – (92-94) points
2011 ODEON SYRAH/CABERNET – (91-93) points
2009 ODEON SYRAH/CABERNET – 93 points
2009 GRIZZLY GRENACHE/SYRAH – 92 points
2011 HOMESTEAD GRENACHE/SYRAH – 90+ points
2011 LESTER FAMILY VINEYARD PINOT NOIR – 92 points
2011 COASTVIEW VINEYARD PINOT NOIR – 92 points
2010 COASTVIEW VINEYARD PINOT NOIR – 92+ points
2011 HOMESTEAD BLOCK ROUSSANNE – 92 points
2011 COASTVIEW VINEYARD CHARDONNAY – 91 points
"Proprietor Bradley Brown crafts some of the most compelling, small-production artisan wines in California’s Central Coast. With each passing year, the wines are more refined and polished, making Big Basin one of the most dynamic up and coming wineries in the state. The 2012s are the most promising young wines I have tasted from Big Basin. Harvests have moved up slightly, the use of whole clusters is up and there is more attention to cooperage, all of which bode well for the future. As always, the approach at Big Basin emphasizes native fermentations and malos with extended macerations and only moderate amounts of new oak." – Antonio Galloni
And, this was said of the Santa Cruz Mountains – "What is the most overlooked terroir in California? It is a question I am asked often. The answer is always the same: The Santa Cruz Mountains. These hillside vineyards just south of San Francisco are home to some of the world’s greatest vineyards and wines. Fabulous, age-worthy Chardonnays, Pinot Noirs and Cabernet Sauvignon-based reds all flourish on these dramatic hillside sites." – Antonio Galloni
2012 Coastview Vineyard Pinot Noir: "The 2012 Pinot Noir Coastview Vineyard is stunningly beautiful. Dark red cherries, plums and spices are all woven together. Stylistically, the Coastview is richer, deeper and more voluptuous than the Alfaro, but it retains considerable grace and energy. I can’t wait to see how this ages. Today, the 2012 Coastview is magnificent."
2012 Coastview Vineyard Syrah: "The 2012 Syrah Coastview Vineyard is drop dead gorgeous. Sweet, perfumed and deeply expressive, the 2012 is layered with blue/purplish fruit, jasmine, crushed rocks and melted road tar. The presence of 4-5% Viognier and whole clusters add an attractive lift. There is a lot to look forward to here, including an estimate production of around 220 cases, on the large side by Big Basin standards!"
2012 Alfaro Family Vineyard Vineyard Pinot Noir: "The 2012 Pinot Noir Alfaro Family Vineyard is laced with expressive red berries, mint, crushed rose petals and fennel. Delicate, perfumed and medium in body, the 2012 impresses for its fabulous overall balance and class. The stems need time to integrate, but this is a gorgeous wine. "
2012 Rattlesnake Rock Syrah: "The 2012 Syrah Rattlesnake Rock is a wine of exceptional polish. Dark raspberry, licorice, mint, spice and licorice are all woven together in a radiant, deeply expressive wine loaded with pedigree and class. This layered, focused Syrah appears to have tons of potential. What a gorgeous wine! The 2012 includes a dash of Viognier and Grenache in the blend, in addition to a bit of whole cluster fermentation in one other the lots. None of that is really essential though. It is the wine’s superb class and balance that stand out most."
2011 Rattlesnake Rock Syrah: "Big Basin’s 2011 Syrah Rattlesnake Rock is just as compelling as the 2012, but totally different in style, which is only natural given how different the two vintages are. Herbs, black pepper, cloves and dark blue/blackish fruit all meld together in the glass. A wine of deep inflections and pure precision, the 2011 is simply dazzling. Firm yet nicely integrated tannins support the gorgeous finish. The cold vintage yielded a distinctly savory Syrah endowed with tons of character and pedigree. In 2011, the Rattlesnake is also 100% Syrah, all fully destemmed, but it is the vintage that stands out most."
2011 Odeon Syrah/Cabernet: "The 2011 Odeon, a Syrah/Cabernet Sauvignon blend, is striking. Vivid and beautifully articulated, the 2010 Is laced with expressive blue/blackish fruit, grilled herbs, tobacco, cedar and smoke, all in a juicy, immensely appealing style. There is a lot to look forward to here. The 2011 is 60% Syrah and 40% Cabernet Sauvignon."
2009 Odeon Syrah/Cabernet: "The 2009 Odeon bursts from the glass with hugely attractive melange of dark fruit. A layered, deeply resonant wine, the 2009 is rich, powerful and impeccably polished from start to finish. Blackberries, menthol, licorice and smoke are all layered into the huge, voluptuous finish. This is a fabulous showing for the 2009 Odeon, Big Basin’s Syrah/Cabernet Sauvignon blend."
2009 Grizzly Grenache/Syrah: "The 2009 Grizzly is beautifully layered and expressive from start to finish. Dark red cherry and plum notes meld into cloves, menthol and licorice. A fleshy, expansive wine, the 2009 shows a distinct leaning towards dark, brooding aromas and flavors for a Grenache-based wine. There is a lot to like in a soft, supple, immensely appealing finish."
2011 Homestead: "The 2011 Homestead, a Rhone-based red, is showing the effects of its relatively recent bottling. There is plenty of appeal and immediacy in the glass, but all the elements aren’t fully put together. Still, it seems there is plenty of potential for the future. The 2011 is 48% Mourvedre, 24% Carignane, 18% ZInfandel, 7% Syrah and 3% Grenache aged in neutral oak barrels."
2011 Lester Family Vineyard Pinot Noir: "The 2011 Pinot Noir Lester Family Vineyard is quite a bit more floral, perfumed and delicate than the Coastview, partly because of the greater inclusion of stems here (30%). It will appeal most to readers who appreciate the savory side of Pinot. Although a bit light, I especially like the focus and energy here."
2011 Coastview Vineyard Pinot Noir: "The 2011 Pinot Noir Coastview Vineyard is wonderfully direct in this vintage. Mint, sweet spices, crushed flowers, licorice and fennel add complexity as the wine sits in the glass. Overall the 2011 is a bit frail and light, but pretty, as so many wines are in this vintage. The 2011 is a bit of a transitional wine that moves in a direction that is more articulately expressed in the 2012. "
2010 Coastview Vineyard Pinot Noir: "Veins of minerality cut through the fruit in the 2010 Pinot Noir Coastview Vineyard. Always fairly immediate in style, the 2010 is built on gorgeous red fruit, perfumed aromatics and crystalline acidity. There is a transparency to the 2010 that is particularly appealing. This is a terrific showing from Big Basin. The 2010 was fermented with about 12% whole clusters and spent 16 months in French oak barrels, 43% new."
2011 Homestead Block Roussanne: "The 2011 Roussanne is a model of balance and harmony. Honey, almonds, orange zest and honeysuckle all meld together in this gracious, mid-weight wine. This is a terrific showing from Big Basin. The 2011 spent a full 18 months in barrel."
2011 Coastview Vineyard Chardonnay: "Lemon, white flowers and pears inform the 2011 Chardonnay Coastview Vineyard. The mineral-driven style is bright, understated and nuanced from start to finish. Ideally the 2011 could use another year in bottle, but it is pretty delicious, even today."