96 points Wine Enthusiast
A transparent red in the glass, this bottling is loaded with aromas of incense, juniper and pine needle—much like a walk through the coastal forests - yet offers tart and crisp cranberry and raspberry fruit tones as well. The forest floor and freshly snapped pine flavors are delicious on the palate, where that crisp red fruit keeps begging for recurrent attention. (MK) (3/2021)
17.5 (Superior) points Jancis Robinson
Scents of forest floor and chopped herbs. In the mouth, raspberry and cherry flavours are heavily scented with chopped herbs and green-olive juice, giving the wine a saline quality that along with the excellent acidity makes it mouth-watering. Notes of green herbs linger in the finish. Faint tannins. Very distinctive and compelling. 17.5/20 points. (AY) (11/2020)
91 Points Wine & Spirits
Jim Beauregard planted Coast Grade in 2008, the vines facing southwest from Bonny Doon toward Monterey Bay 1,200 feet below. This wine feels like a cold-climate pinot, the fruit crunchy with strawberry and blueberry freshness and a sweet scent of cedar fronds. It's an oceanic red to pour with grilled mackerel. J.G.
90 Points Wine Spectator
Cedary, spicy style, with a burnished mix of dried cherry and currant flavors that are finely textured. Slate and underbrush on the finish. Drink now through 2023.
The 2018 Pinot Noir Coast Grade Vineyard is well balanced and highly perfumed with the classic Santa Cruz Mountain aromatics we all adore. The palate is nearly full bodied with flavors which mirror the nose with rich fruit flavors of raspberry, cranberry, pine needle, forest floor, and savory herbs. This wine is delicious now and ideal for drinking upon release and over the next 3-10 years. I anticipate this wine will peak between 2024 and 2028, if kept in a cold dark place it will age longer. If drinking now decanting is not needed, but in my opinion serving temperature is key. Ideally serve in large Burgundy stems at cellar temp or just above depending on your preference (55-65F).
Coast Grade Vineyard, located in Bonny Doon, California is owned and farmed by Jim Beauregard. Planted in 2008, the 17 acre Pinot Noir vineyard sits at an elevation of 1,238 to 1,350 feet on a southwest facing slope. Monterey Bay influences combine with sandy loam soil and underlaying limestone to produce wines with minerality and striking acidity.
The grapes were hand harvested, 70% de-stemmed, and foot crushed. Native yeast fermentation took place for 21 days with daily punchdowns. The wine was pressed and put into finest French Oak we have in our cellar with about 20% new barrels and aged for 22 months.
2018 was textbook perfect for our vineyards with slow ripening caused by a cooler growing season. The yields were light but that led to higher quality wines (in most cases). The last time we had harvests this late was 2010 which I remember vividly. The big difference between 2010 and 2018 is that we had no rain to speak of during the 2018 ripening season. The diurnal temperature shifts were quite extreme with the nights dipping into the high 40’s and the days warming to an average 65. This slow ripening leads to more fruit development and better physiological ripening for the berries while preserving acidity. By better physiologically ripening, I mean that the skins of the berries are thicker, the seeds are darker, and the stems of the clusters become more lignified (brown rather than green). In my career, I can name a few perfect vintages; 2002, 2012, and 2018 come to mind. This vintage is remarkable and my team put in 110% effort to craft the best wines that can be made from our family estate. I have selected rare and unusual barrels constructed in France which will hone these wine gems while they mature into wines I will be proud to put my family’s name on.