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.
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.
94 Points Robert Parker: "Medium ruby-purple, the 2020 Pinot Noir Comptche Ridge is scented of pomegranate, blueberry, tea leaves, mushrooms and forest floor. The medium-bodied palate offers an intense core of perfumed berry fruit supported by grainy tannins and bright acidity, and it finishes long and sapid. Drink it now for its plush, alluring fruit."
previous vintage 96 Points Antonio Galloni (Vinous): "Another stellar wine in this range, the Anthill Farms 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."
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.
Rare new Pinot Noir from renowned winemaker Thomas Rivers Brown and Schrader Cellars: introducing Aston Estate. Limited.
Aston Estate, founded in 2001, is an exceptional Sonoma-based collaboration between winemaker Thomas Brown, vintner Fred Schrader, and as Schrader Cellars coins, "Secret Weapon, Mr. Big." Part of the Schrader umbrella, the 40 acre-estate along the Sonoma Coast produces exclusively Pinot Noir that is classically styled with rich and elegant palate profiles.
The Aston Estate 2020 Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir is a deep, dark, and structured wine from a strong, well-rounded vintage. The wine displays an almost completely opaque dark purple hue in the glass. Exotic aromas of bay leaf, macerated bramble fruit, blood orange and cedar bough emerge from the glass in concert. The palate is defined by mouth-watering freshness from front to back, marked by notes of fresh earth, cherry reduction, crushed rock and primrose. There is so much generosity and complexity to this wine, only time will tell what great notions will come to light in the bottle.