2017 Occidental Freestone-Occidental Pinot Noir
Shipping Included on Six Bottles
Steve Kistler’s retirement present to himself and, ultimately, the legacy he will pass on to his two daughters, is this absolutely gorgeous property high in the hills of Freestone, a short drive inland and up from Bodega Bay on the Sonoma Coast. Dedicated solely to the production of Pinot Noir, Kistler has spared nothing to make this incredible winery the source of some of California’s most exciting wine. The winery, custom-built just for the production of small lots of Pinot, is a must-visit as the views are incredible and building state-of-the-art. Standing outside the winery, you see nothing but rolling hills of vines, not only the Kistlers’, but also the famous Platt and Joseph Phelps’ Freestone Vineyard are also right there between you and the Pacific. As his vines have gradually matured, Steve (with increasing participation from daughters Catherine and Elizabeth) has resurrected some of the single-vineyard micro-cuvees he made famous at Kistler, but the mainstay is the roughly 1000-case production wine they call Occidental-Freestone. This is cool climate Pinot at its most thrilling- intense but elegant, with a ton of personality and the potential to live a very long time. The just-released 2017 is another sensational effort- a sexy style of Pinot Noir that revolves around crunchy red fruit, a set of ravishing aromatics and a very Burgundian sort of texture. There’s also something uniquely coastal about it- a sort of saline freshness that reminds you that the blue Pacific is just over the hill from where you’re standing and that Pinot Noir wants to, in its heart of hearts, be white. With grilling season now (almost) upon us, smoky, herby lamb chops will certainly be on the menu, and this is the perfect Pinot for them.