The Central Coast of Southern California stretches at about 250 miles along the coastline reaching different counties like Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, San Francisco, Paso Robles, Livermore, Santa Cruz and Monterey. There are about four million acres throughout Central Coast region with 93,000 for winegrowing. With about 360 wineries, Central Coast accounts for 15 percent of wine grape production in California.
Cool fogs and afternoon breezes surround the Central Coast region, which is the perfect climate for grapes like Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot, Pinot Grigio, Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah and many other grape varietals. Central Coast has well-drained gravel soils that lessen the strength of grape vines and increase the flavor concentration of grapes that turn into fine wines.
Ancien Chardonnay Carneros is made from 100 percent Chardonnay.
Chardonnay Carneros owes its style, depth, and structure to intensely flavored, low yielding, heirloom clones growing in two Carneros vineyards: on the Napa side, the Toyon Farm and on the Sonoma side, the Sangiacomo Vella Ranch. Ancien Wines hand-selected the cuttings themselves, from older vineyards in the Carneros area. These cuttings are reputed to have origins tracing to Paul Masson who imported them from Burgundy in the early 1940’s, from Louis Latour's renowned Corton Charlemagne vineyard. These selections are often referred to as “Old Wente”or “Robert Young,”denoting the sourced mother blocks in the 1960s.
Notes of ripe apple and honeydew melon greet and are delicately perfumed by notes of freesia and citrus blossom. Brighter notes of lime and Meyer lemon match the refreshing acidity of this wine, balanced by a creamy palate and leading to a finish that will continue to lengthen in the coming months. A wonderfully textured and vibrant Chardonnay displaying the best of Carneros.
Chardonnay Carneros is guided toward a layered, complex, and expressive style that develops gracefully in the bottle and shows enticing minerality, vivacious fruit, length and structure. The watchword is balance. Grapes were pressed as whole clusters, settled and fermented entirely in French oak from four different coopers, chosen for their unique synergism and support of the fruit on the palate. One third of the barrels were new. A variety of yeasts were used, including native strains, and fermentation proceeded evenly and slowly, averaging a cool 55°F. The wine was aged on its yeast lees, which were stirred weekly through the spring.
Belle Glos Balade Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Dark violet in color with aromas of dark fruit and toasted brioche with a hint of baking spice. Bold and sophisticated on the palate with blackberry, boysenberry, French toast, black pepper, and a trace of cinnamon. This wine is beguiled with complexity and a light refreshing approach, yet not overly bold on the palate.
Belle Glos Clark and Telephone Vineyard Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Deep ruby red in color with scarlet highlights, Clark & Telephone opens with bountiful aromas of red fruits of cranberry and raspberry jam, laced with clove, cedar, and holiday baking spices. Bold and complex flavors of crushed ripe cherry, cranberry and blueberry pie linger on the palate. The texture is rich and lively, and leads into a warm and structured finish.
Belle Glos Las Alturas Vineyard Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Deep garnet in color with an aromatic medley of black cherry, marionberry, ripe plum and a hint of anise. Dark fruit on the palate with flavors of wild berries, caramelized oak and cacao nibs complemented by subtle notes of vanilla, cedar and a hint of lavender and forest floor. Rich and unrestrained, this wine’s abundant fruit is beautifully balanced by firm acidity and layers of red and black fruit.
Crown Point Estate Selection is made from 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 3% Malbec.
The 2016 Crown Point Estate Selection exhibits a heady aromatic array of baking spices, ripe red and black fruits, with deep intonations of earth and minerals. The palate is elegant and bright, with appealing acids and nuanced notes of savory mocha and dried herbs. Polished and seamless, the tannins finish with a comet-like trail of textural opulence highlighted by glossy flavors of baked berry pie and warm toast. Recommended drinking window: now through 2030s.The 2016 Estate Selection is representative of all five red Bordeaux varieties. The selection process starts in the vineyard and continues on through the winemaking process: only the best lots make the final blend. All blocks were harvested & fermented separately. The individual components were blended after 12 months in barrel. Total time in 225 liter French oak barrels was 26 months.
Deeply colored, the 2016 Estate Selection checks in as 75% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 6% Petit Verdot, 6% Cabernet Franc, 3% Malbec that was brought up 26 months in 75% new French oak. Deeply colored, it has a smoking good bouquet of crème de cassis, smoke tobacco, lead pencil, camphor, and hints of chocolate. This gives way to a powerful, opulent Cabernet Sauvignon that has plenty of sweet tannins, a layered, multi-dimensional texture, no hard edges, and an awesome finish. I’d happily put this beauty in a lineup of top Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and blends.
-Wine Enthusiast 97 Points
There’s an impressive amount of complexity on the nose of this bottling by winemaker Adam Henkel, from crushed graphite and concentrated black strawberry to cinnamon pastry, licorice and a brush of herbs. The sip is intense, with leathery but chiseled tannins presenting flavors of charred black currant, licorice, black olive, dried flower and white pepper
-Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
Crown Point Estate Selection is made from 70% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot, 10% Malbec, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Petit Verdot.
The 2017 Crown Point Estate Selection is an engaging wine with notes of red fruit, strawberries, and vibrant floral tones of violets in harmony with toasted coffee notes. On the palate, the wine displays a gentle sweetness married with fine grain tannins, a velvety texture providing a long finish.
There's a purity to the nose of this bottling that reveals deep, lush waves of boysenberry paste alongside a savory tone of charred beef. Polished tannins frame the sip, where ample amounts of rich black plum and blackberry are enhanced by caramel, coffee bean and mocha flavors, with acidity holding tight into the finish.
Wine Enthusiast 96 Point
El Pino Club Sea Floored Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Sea Floored opens with aromas of cherry cola, dried cran-raspberries, and classic Sta. Rita Hills black pepper. On the palate, deep flavors of Chambord, red pomegranate and cranberry fruit are framed by moderate tannins and food-friendly acidity, finishing with hints of tobacco and oak-roasted coffee bean.
This special bottling from the Foley family packs a lot of complexity into the nose, offering aromas of bay leaf, toasted wood, light cannabis and brisk pomegranate. The palate is firm in texture and covers a wide range of fruit, from dark berry to bright red fruit, though it may be the graphite-like minerality that sets it apart.
-Wine Enthusiast 94 Points
Hahn Family Wines Lucienne Doctor's Vineyard Pinot Noir is made from 100 percent Pinot Noir.
Located in the middle stretch of the Santa Lucia Highlands, the 243-acre Doctor’s Vineyard experiences warmer temperatures and higher winds than Hahn’s other estate vineyards in the region. Certified sustainable, the vineyard ranges from 320 feet to 720 feet above sea level, with gently sloped hillsides and wide row spacing that offers greater sun exposure. The dry and slightly warmer climate here results in a riper more robust Pinot Noir, with expressive aromas of red cherry, plum and orange zest along with hints of sage, clove and white pepper. The wine has great mid-palate structure, smooth soft tannins, flavors of red cherry, bramble berries and a touch of warm spice on a refreshing lingering finish.
Brilliant red. High-pitched, spice-accented raspberry and cherry aromas, along with hints ‘of woodsmoke, cola and exotic spices. Silky and energetic an the palate, offering alluringly sweet red fruit and floral pastille flavors that deepen and turn spicier as the wine opens up. Fine-grained tannins lend shape to an impressively long, spice-tinged finish that shows excellent clarity and reverberating florality.
-Vinous 94 Points
Mandolin Merlot is made from 100 percent Merlot.
With its maritime influence, California's Central Coast region has an extended growing season that yields wines with full flavor development and great acid balance. Mandolin Merlot features ripe cherry fruit complemented by hints of spice and vanilla from nicely integrated oak.
Ptit Paysan Cabernet Sauvignon is made from 91% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petite Verdot, 3% Cabernet Pfeffer.
Oak: 11 months on lees in neutral barrels
The Cabernet Sauvignon is sourced from a vineyard at the foot of the Santa Cruz Mountains west of Morgan Hill, which grows in a mix of granitic and volcanic soils, and a 25-year-old vineyard east of Gilroy, which grows in deep, extremely sandy soils against the foothills of the Diablo Range. The Petite Verdot is sourced from the Paicines AVA and grows in rocky alluvial deposits above the Tres Piños Arroyo. All three vineyards experience the warm days and cold nights typical of the Central Coast, allowing these late ripening Bordeaux varieties to be picked at high acidity and moderate sugars.
Le P'tit Paysan offers intense blackberry, dark cherry aromas, chocolate, herbaceous and toasty notes on the palate. Medium-bodied, well-balanced with moderate and integrated tannins that give structure and liveliness to the wine.
Pairs well with steak, duck, game, hearty stews, ribs, and dark, rich sauces.
Le P'tit Paysan Le Ptit Pape is made from 62% Grenache, 19% Syrah, 14% Mourvedre, 3% Counoise, 2% Cinsault
Oak: Mixture of one and twice used barrels for 11 months and puncheons
Playful interpretaion of a domestic, baby, Chateauneuf-du-Pape.
Cherry blossoms, dusty road, red plums, herb de Provence. Rosewater and red cherry on the palate, nimble with medium body. Grippy finish with firm Grenache tannins and hints of olive and sagebrush.
Fermented in several lots ranging from 0-50% whole cluster. Fermeted to dryness on skins.
Aged in neutral barrels for 11 months. From limestone rich soils
The Grade Napa Cabernet Sauvignon Winfield Vineyard is made from Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
“This wine expresses a focused balancing act of dark, rich black fruit, and a fine tannin structure, illuminated through the core with a laser-like acidity. The wine displays a deep purple-red hue with a cranberry halo. Aromas of cassis, cinnamon, citrus oil, roasted meat, and lilac swell from the glass.
“The palate is marked by a wave of jet-black brambly fruit up front, followed by an exotic spice mid-palate and a long, complex finish that lasts and lasts expressing notes of flowering jasmine, and oolong tea. The silky tannins hold everything together and will certainly allow this wine to evolve in the cellar for at least 7-10 years.” - Thomas River Brown
The 2019 Cabernet Sauvignon Winfield Vineyard is a blend taken from three blocks in the vineyard. A potent, layered Cabernet, the Winfield is super-expressive today. Dark red cherry, licorice, incense and savory herbs all flesh out in a potent, resonant Calistoga Cabernet that hits all the right notes. This is impressive, to say the least.
-- Antonio Galloni 95 Points
Dark and deep with a hue of deep bright ruby red. Intense and complex bouquet of red cherry and blackberry intermixed with notes of minerals (graphite, wet river rocks), licorice, fresh blond tobacco and a hint of fresh blackcurrant. Full bodied, the palate is reminiscent of the nose, with a richly tannic yet round frame and with an outstanding finesse. The tannins from both bench and foothill locations create a harmonious ensemble, leading to a long, seamless and elegant finish. Built to age for decades, this collectible wine will open up after a few years of cellaring and is particularly representative of this special side of St. Helena. Morlet Estate features the interaction of the loamy, well drained and rocky volcanic soil, the typical sunny mountain climate and the low-interventionistic Morlet winemaking approach.
More masculine, backward, and austere, with a Chateau Latour-like character, the 2015 Morlet Estate gives up darker fruits, crushed rock, and ample lead pencil-like notions to go with a full-bodied, concentrated, structured feel on the palate. With building tannin and obvious minerality, it’s going to handsomely reward patience.
Jeb Dunnuck 96+ Points