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Big Basin Coastview Vineyard Pinot Noir 2010

Pinot Noir from Santa Cruz Mountains, California
    14.2% ABV
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    14.2% ABV

    Winemaker Notes

    The Gabilan Mountains are a sizeable range of rugged granitic and calcareous mountains that run down the East side of the Salinas Valley. Other vineyards in these mountains have attained critical acclaim including Calera Vineyards on Mt. Harlan 3 miles to the North and Chalone 20 miles to the Southeast. After producing the exceptional 2007 Coastview Syrah, I convinced the owner to bud-over some existing Syrah vines at the base of a North-facing hill that he had trouble getting ripe to Pinot noir. We took cuttings of various Dijon-clones from the Alfaro Vineyard including 113, 114, 115, 667 and 777, plus some Pisoni selection and established them on a one+ acre block. The 2010 vintage is our second from this vineyard. We used about 10% stem inclusion with the remainder destemmed whole berry. We produced seven barrels and aged them for 16 months.

    A hallmark of the 2010 vintage is the wonderful perfume that Pinot Noirs from cool sites express - and the Coastview is no exception. The wine expresses the minerality of the decomposed granite and limestone soils of the site on the nose, along with rose petal and red fruit. It is a very well structured wine built for aging with excellent body, with notes of blood orange and pomegranite along with vibrant acidity and a long silky finish. This will no doubt be a long lived wine, and while approachable in it's youth, we expect it to take anywhere from five to ten years to truly reveal what it has to offer.

    169 cases produced

    Critical Acclaim

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    Big Basin

    Big Basin

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    Big Basin, Santa Cruz Mountains, 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.

    Santa Cruz Mountains

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    A rugged and topographically diverse cool-climate appellation with a rich history, the Santa Cruz Mountains AVA stretches from Half Moon Bay, just south of San Francisco, to the northern border of Monterey County. Elevations range from 800 feet to upwards of 3,000 and microclimates vary substantially depending on which side of the mountains the vineyards lie; cool ocean winds and fog play an important role here. This can be a challenging region in which to grow grapes, but it is well worth the effort. Santa Cruz Mountains wines are noted for balanced acidity levels, often showing great aging potential. Wine has been made here since the 1800s, most notably from the legendary Ridge Vineyards, whose Monte Bello vineyard garners international admiration.

    Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon are the stars of this region, while Merlot and Zinfandel also perform quite well. Organic and sustainable vineyard practices are becoming increasingly common.

    Pinot Noir

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    One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

    In the Glass

    Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

    Perfect Pairings

    Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

    Sommelier Secret

    For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Villages or Cru level wines.

    PBC9167862_2010 Item# 132353