Winemaker Bradley Brownhas been cultivating a cult and critical following from his estate in the Santa Cruz Mountains since 2000. This year’s fires took his self-built home and destroyed all his estate harvest, but spared his winery and the wines within it and the jury is still out on how much of his estate vineyards will survive. Regardless of this year’s travails, the 2016 Coastview Vineyard Pinot Noir is absolutely stunning and probably the single most Burgundian California Pinot Noir we’ve ever tasted. Monterey County is a large AVA that one sees on many grocery store brands, but this remote, mountain-top vineyard at 2200-2400 feet of elevation in the Gabilan Mountains on the East side of the Salinas Valley has the distinction of limestone soils that are exceedingly rare in California, and may one day be part of a smaller, more distinguished AVA. The vineyard is farmed organically with pygmy sheep controlling the weeds below the vines. The wine is made naturally with a majority of whole clusters used to cool down and lengthen fermentation, emphasize pretty aromatics and contribute some spiciness as well as tannins from the stems. This is a wine with elegance as well as power that can stand up to boldly flavored dishes. Drinking well now, but can continue to age for at least another six to ten years.