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Occidental (Kistler) Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2013

Occidental (Kistler) Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast 2013

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93 Point: "Occidental’s 2013 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast) is a superb appellation-level wine that approaches the quality found in the vineyard designate bottlings. Sweet, perfumed aromatics and bright, chiseled fruit are two of the signatures in a Pinot endowed with a striking interplay of energy and finesse. The Sonoma Coast Pinot is the hidden gem in the Occidental range. A detour to Steve Kistler's new Occidental winery and Bodega Headlands vineyard was a welcome break after a full day of tastings. The new, small winemaking facility is now operational, while ambitious vineyard development continues. As always, a maniacal attention to detail underpins everything that happens at Occidental, and Kistler, for that matter. There are now four wines in the Occidental range; a vineyard designate from Occidental Station, two vineyard wines from Bodega Headlands (Cuvée Elizabeth and SWK) and a Sonoma Coast bottling. All of the sites have been chosen for their ability to achieve full ripeness at lower sugar levels, which is one of the basic concepts that underpins Occidental." - Vinous


Occidental is the highly-lauded side project of famed winemaker, Steve Kistler and his business partner, Mark Bixler. Steve is most well-known for his eponymous label, Kistler Vineyards, which has been dedicated to making world-class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from California’s north coast for over 30 years

While Steve remains CEO of Kistler Vineyards and is very much in charge of day to day operations, his desire to focus solely on Pinot Noir was the impetus behind creating Occidental. Situated just 4 miles from the Ocean in western Sonoma’s Bodega Headlands, Occidental currently has 20 acres of primarily Calera clone Pinot Noir planted, with another 60 acres in development. The vineyards benefit from an ideal south-facing aspect (not shared by neighboring sites), as well as the Petaluma Gap’s cold, windy climate. In fact, the area rarely sees temperatures over 80 degrees. In short, it is a wonderland for Pinot Noir.

Similar to his philosophy at Kistler Vineyards, Steve embraces a “less is more” approach to viticulture and winemaking at Occidental. Steve’s ultimate goal was to reduce the size of the operation and increase the level of attention in order to make Pinot Noir that is rich with flavor, but not overly extracted or tannic.

Additional Information

Additional Information

Varietal/TypePinot Noir
Size750 ML Standard
Rating93 Points
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