Kistler Kistler Vineyard Chardonnay - rare new release.
96+ Points Robert Parker: "The 2019 Chardonnay Kistler Vineyard opens with youthful, smoky graphite and toast, offering crushed almonds and white blossoms with some time in the glass. The palate surprises with its depth of ripe, fragrant fruits and textural, expansive character balanced by mineral tones and bright acidity. It finishes long and lifted. All that intensity and lift will allow it to evolve over the next 3-5 years in bottle and hold in the cellar for 10+ years."
...the single-vineyard wines all represent much smaller quantities of wine. There have been several noticeable changes in the Kistler wines over the last few years, as they are certainly picking the Pinot Noir at an earlier date and going for less extraction, more fragrance and delicacy. The Chardonnays are still powerful wines but they have backed off the new oak to about 40%. (About 10 years ago, it was around 60%.) Other than that they are still potent and rich Chardonnays that are meant to be drunk in their first 4-6 years of life. It is my experience that aging Kistler wine has not been generally as successful as I would have hoped.."
Very Limited Kistler Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. *This is a rare MAGNUM (1.5L)*
96 points Parker: "The 2019 Pinot Noir Cuvée Natalie Silver Belt Vineyard strikes a fine balance of broody red fruits with spice and mineral tones. The nose offers gregarious cranberry sauce, rhubarb, nori and blood orange, with accents of purple flowers. The palate is vivacious and layered, silky and lifted with a very long, spicy finish. It's open-knit and accessible although its generous fruits and classy new oak will show best with another 2-3 years in bottle."
New Occidental Pinot Noir release from Kistler. Limited.
95 Points Wine Spectator: "Offers lots of energy, with a burst of plum and blackberry fruit backed by bouncy anise and bramble accents, all carried by fresh, lively acidity. Light savory details add range on the finish, as the fruit takes an encore. A bit showy in style, but most folks won't complain about that. Drink now through 2030. From California."
previous vintage 95+ Points Robert Parker: "The Pinot Noir Freestone-Occidental comes mostly from younger vines at the Occidental property but is made with the same attention to detail as the other wines in the portfolio, using free-run juice. Its nose is an aromatic well, offering crushed blueberries, charcuterie, Earl Grey tea leaves, graphite, saline, bitter orange peel and potpourri aromas. In the mouth, it explodes with lush fruits that give way after their initial rush to bitter, citrusy, minerally accents. It has a fine grain, seamless freshness and long, layered finish. It's enjoyable now but will age well over the next five to eight-plus years."
previous vintage 94 Points Antionio Galloni (Vinous): "The Pinot Noir Freestone Occidental is a truly remarkable wine. Maybe that is the vintage, or the added complexity the vines are acquiring with time, but the Freestone Occidental makes me incredibly curious to taste the rest of the 2018s. Bright, focused and beautifully sculpted, the 2018 is a wine of total elegance and finesse. Moreover, it captures the savory, energetic, saline style that is so typical of this part of the Sonoma Coast."
Occidental is Steve Kistler's new Pinot Noir project, which is starting essentially as a spin-out from Kistler Vineyards. Steve Kistler remains CEO of Kistler Vineyards and very much in charge of day to day operations. At the same time, Kistler understandably wanted to manage a small project of his own with an eye towards his two younger daughters who will one day run Occidental.