A few local wine enthusiasts got together recently for dinner in Los Altos. One of the guests was Ian Brand; a former assistant winemaker at Big Basin and now consulting for several local wineries including Nicholson in Corralitos and Coastview in Monterey. He brought several of the wines he's been making (my notes were brief due to the dinner and a lack of power in my iPhone), including a 2008 Albariño from Pierce Ranch (Floral and fruity, but unfortunately served a bit too warm), a 2008 Nicholson Arroyo Seco Viognier (Light floral nose, with briny and biscuit/ice-cream wafer notes), a 2007 Coastview Syrah
(Meaty, savoury, smoky bacon on the nose. Good currant fruit, nice acidity and his personal label, a 2005 Le P'tit Paysan Meritage (Nose of roast meat, elderberry, smoke. Tight berry fruit - cranberry and boysenberry. Smooth tannins.)
As we left he handed me a couple of wines that we didn't get around to. One of them was an as yet unreleased Chardonnay from Coastview Vineyard. Coastview is located in the Gavilan Mountains at an elevation of 2300-2600 feet, possibly the highest vineyard in Monterey County and as high as Muns in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Coastview has similar limestone and granite soils as the Chalone AVA, but with a cooler microclimate.
The wine shows a lot of tropical fruit, both on the nose and the palate; particularly mango, nectarine and pear. Although it's smooth and rounded there's very little oak influence. (The wine sees only 20% new French oak, 80% neutral.) It reminded me of Michaud, which I haven't had in a while. The finish is long and rich. Since it's so young I had planned to save some to try the following day, but before I knew it the bottle was empty.
The release date is unconfirmed, as is the price, but it'll probably be in the same range as Michaud. 91 Recommended