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Big Basin Coastview Vineyard Pinot Noir 2013

Pinot Noir from Mt. Harlan, Central Coast, California
  • RP93
  • WE92
13.6% ABV
  • WE92
  • JD92
  • W&S90
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3.9 5 Ratings
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3.9 5 Ratings
13.6% ABV

Winemaker Notes

The wine expresses the crushed rocks of the decomposed quartzite/granite and limestone soils of the vineyard on the nose, along with a perfume of blood orange, pomegranate, crushed flowers and hints of framboise and anise. Tightly structured now in its youth, it is a wine built for aging and will benefit from decanting. As it opens up, it reveals a wonderful vibrant sappy red fruit that continues in a long cascading finish.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 93
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
I loved the fruit in the 2013 Pinot Noir Coastview Vineyard and it’s one of the more textured, layered wines in the lineup. Crushed rocks, rose petals, violets, leather and assorted, perfumed Pinot Noir fruit all emerge from this medium-bodied, balanced, juicy and straight up delicious wine. It shows the leaner, fresher style of the estate, yet has texture. Fermented with 30% whole clusters, give it a year or so and drink bottles through 2023.
WE 92
Wine Enthusiast
Made with only 30% whole-cluster, this bottling by Bradley Brown allows lusher red-cherry fruit to show on the nose, alongside slate, mint and sandalwood notes. Those same red-cherry elements meet with cranberry on the palate, growing more complex as layers of graphite, bay leaf, pine needle and turned forest floor arise.
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Big Basin

Big Basin

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Big Basin, Mt. Harlan, Central Coast, California
Banner image for winery header

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 “Frenchie’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.

Our mission is to create wines that reveal the complex nuances of the vineyards that inspire them – cool climate, ocean-influenced, mountain vineyards. Great wines are grown, not made so we spend long hours in our vineyard, employing sustainable and organic farming practices. By keeping the yields very low and hand-harvesting small sections of the vineyard at perfect ripeness, we strive to achieve the most important part of winemaking - great fruit. Our job as winemakers then is to be as transparent as possible in allowing the wines to most emphatically and clearly express themselves. For us this means practicing minimal intervention. By keeping our production small, we can give every vine, fermentation bin and barrel the attention it deserves. We hope you enjoy the results.

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.

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, not Pinot noir. 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 Village or Cru level wines. So "red Burgundy" still necessarily refers to Pinot noir.

ALWBGPNCOAST13_2013 Item# 141196