New Occidental Pinot Noir release from Kistler. Limited.
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."
94 Points Antionio Galloni (Vinous): "The 2018 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 2018 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.
North is the new Pinot Noir from the Central Coast Rhone Master John Alban. Extremely limited.
Starting in 1985, John Alban planted grapes for other people until he bought an estate in 1989. With a focus on creating wines made from Rhône Valley varietals, Alban came to be a pioneer of the Rhone Rangers movement, and is considered one of the most influential American Rhone producers. Though the focus is on rhone varieties, the Alban pinot noir is a beautiful, fill flavored wine. The richness of the wine is emphsized, which is typical of Alban wines, and the pinot is beautifully balanced.
New Pinot label from Dan Kosta of Kosta Browne and partner Emeril Lagasse!
The 2016 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is medium-bodied, offering subtle fruit flavors, bright acidity and structure that sing in intricate harmony. Inviting aromas of firm blackberry, cedar and pitted cherry are accentuated with floral notes. The nuanced palate balances bright cherry, blackberry and pluot fruits with hints of savory fennel fronds and sea mist. This wine is medium-bodied and typical of Sonoma Coast with bright acidity, subtle fruit flavors and elegant structure. The winemaker is Shane Finley, formerly an assistant winemaker at Kosta Browne for many years.
AldenAlli is the culmination to two families’ expertise in combining superior food, wine, and hospitality to create a sense of place and tradition. The place is Sonoma Coast, above the western most part of the United States, pushing the limits of viticulture where land meets sea. The tradition is our love of Pinot Noir and the ongoing pursuit of the most elusive reward. The creation of AldenAlli wine began with the convergence of friendship, families, and culinary passions. Both the Kosta and Lagasse families have a long history with one another and with Pinot Noir. Dan Kosta was introduced to Burgundy wines at the young age of five, and an abundant array of Pinot Noir in the Lagasse restaurants has long been a favorite with diners. The nightly presence of Sonoma Pinot Noir at their family dinner tables has been a standing tradition for years. AldenAlli Pinot Noir tells the story of these two families’ talent for combining world class wine with great food.
One of the best new Pinot Noir producers in California! The partners, who all previously worked at Williams Selyem, are deeply committed to crafting high quality, cool climate single vineyard Pinot Nor, Syrah and Chardonnay sourced from vineyards in Northern California. Limited.
96 Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "Another stellar wine in this range, the 2018 Pinot Noir Comptche Ridge is fabulous. In this vintage, the Comptche Ridge is a bit richer and deeper than it has been, while avoiding some of the austerity this wine can show. Beguiling in its aromatics and finely sculpted, the 2018 is marvelously complex. There is plenty of tannin, and the acids are bright (as they are for all these wines), but the 2018 is deep and so multi-faceted. It will appeal most to readers who enjoy taut, structured reds."
94 Points Robert Parker: "Medium ruby-purple, the 2018 Pinot Noir Comptche Ridge opens with leather, bay leaves, fir, turned earth and garrigue with a core of fresh black fruits. The medium-bodied palate is concentrated with its earthy character accented by floral notes. It's refreshed by juicy acidity and finishes long and nuanced."
Located a few miles from the Pacific Ocean, this vineyard sits near the tiny town of Annapolis, and is farmed by Steve Campbell. At approximately 750 feet above sea level, it sits right at the boundary of the marine layer, ensuring that the cool, coastal climate delays ripening well beyond the warmer vineyards to the east. The two-decade-old vines grow on sandy, low-vigor Goldridge soil, which helps reduce yields to near two tons per acre.