VINEYARD NOTES:Coast View Vineyard is an exceptional site and one that few wine lovers will ever see. Drive south to the Salinas Valley burg of Chualar, turn left and drive east, over hill and dale, ‘til the road ends at a gate. Thru the gate, over another mile or so of hill and dale to another, locked gate, and you’re still not there! And all this way, unless you know exactly where to look, you haven’t even caught a glimpse of the vineyard. In fact, until you emerge from the dirt track that winds up thru the canyon, pass thru yet another gate, and mount one final ridge, you haven’t a clue what awaits. Maybe this is for the better, because this site is so spectacular. It’s one of those sites that could only be planted by a determined visionary, or a lunatic.
I’m quite sure that owner John Allen is no lunatic, so he must be a visionary and we owe a debt of gratitude to that vision. John is by appearances a calm, thoughtful man, the sort who might regard the challenges of planting and farming such a site as lunacy and move on to flatter ground. But he did not, and again we have a debt of gratitude.
TASTING NOTES: The Insider’s Syrah is made from the same lot of grapes that goes into making the syrah port; and because of the removal of the juice mid-way through fermentation, it has an ”intensifying” effect on the remaining wine.
The 2011 shows a wonderful depth of fruit; ranging from strawberries to cassis and blackberries to blueberries. The absence of any brand new oak allows this wonderful fruit to shine through the natural spiciness of white pepper, cedar and allspice.