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Big Basin Coastview Vineyard Chardonnay 2014

Chardonnay from Mt. Harlan, Central Coast, California
  • RP90
13.5% ABV
  • JD91
  • WE94
  • RP92
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13.5% ABV

Winemaker Notes

Relative to the 2013 vintage, the 2014 possesses lifted floral aromatics with more verve and minerality. The percentage of new French oak was reduced slightly (only 2 out of 9 barrels) which enhances the transparency to the expressive Coastview fruit. The resulting wine is fully integrated with a concentration on the mid palate that is impressive.

Pair this wine with seafood, white meats with citrus glazes, or simply enjoyed on a nice afternoon.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 90
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Juicy and lively, with racy acidity and medium-bodied richness, the 2014 Chardonnay Coastview Vineyard is 100% Chardonnay that spent 11 months in 22% new French oak. Giving up plenty of orchard fruits, hints of toasted nuts, buttered citrus and brioche, it benefits from a decant and will drink nicely for 4-5 years, if not longer. This is a classy Chardonnay that's made in a more lean, fresh style.
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Big Basin

Big Basin

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Big Basin, Mt. Harlan, Central Coast, California
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Big Basin Vineyards was founded in 1998 on an historic site in the Santa Cruz Mountains next to Big Basin Redwoods State Park. The old ranch property was first settled in the late 1800s. Wine grape cultivation had been started by French immigrants by the early 1900s and continued until 1965 when the property was sold by Justin Lacau, who had named the property "Frenchy's Ranch", to a timber company. By the 1990s, all that remained of the vineyards were redwood stakes and scattered vines hidden by brush and poison oak bushes.

We believe in a style of winemaking that allows the fullest expression of the site and the particular vintage. To this end, we spend long hours in our vineyard to insure that the grapes we grow are of the best quality possible. We believe in and employ sustainable and organic farming practices. The steep hillsides, cooling ocean breezes and fog, and fractured mudstone soils promote the development of color and complex flavors. By keeping the yields very low and harvesting small sections of the vineyard at perfect ripeness, we strive to achieve the most important part of winemaking - great fruit. The winemaking then becomes the art of gently extracting what the fruit has to offer. We carefully destem the fruit into small (one ton) open top fermenters where we cold soak the whole berries. We rely primarily on indigenous yeast fermentations which helps promote greater complexity and depth in the finished wine.

Big Basin Vineyards specializes in Syrah while also making a Pinot Noir and Rose of Syrah.

Mt. Harlan

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At elevations reaching well over 2,000 feet, the Mt. Harlan AVA in the Gabilan Range is an anomaly among its surrounding Central Coast appellations. Recognizing the splendor of the area and its ideal limestone-rich soils, Josh Jensen chose Mt. Harlan as the home of his Calera Wine Company in the 1970s. Awarded his own AVA in 1990, Calera is the only commercial winery in the appellation.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

ALWBGCVCHMC14_2014 Item# 192370