Kistler Vineyards Laguna Ridge Vineyard Pinot Noir (1.5 Liter Magnum) 2016
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Fleshy, with exuberant spicy and forest floor notes to the macerated dark cherry, plum tart and pomegranate flavors. Cola, smoke and clove details show on the layered finish. Drink now through 2023.
Boasting plenty of concentrated, very deep black cherry fruit and a full-bodied Pinot that presently embraces sheer lusciousness over tidy elegance, this ample look at the variety is nonetheless a well-polished rendition with fine structural spine and is just beginning to show the first signs of varietal velvet in texture. It is a fairly weighty wine, to be sure, but it is never near heavy despite its considerable fruity muscle and mass, and, if arguably not quite as complex as Kistler’s Cuvée Natalie, it is far from simple now and is a sure bet to show increased layering in the coming three or four years.
Home to a diverse array of smaller AVAs with varied microclimates and soil types, Sonoma County has something for every wine lover. Physically twice as large as Napa Valley, the region only produces about half the amount of wine but boasts both tremendous quality and variety. With its laid-back atmosphere and down-to-earth attitude, the wineries of Sonoma are appreciated by wine tourists for their friendliness and approachability. The entire county intends to become a 100% sustainable winegrowing region by 2019.
Sonoma County wines are produced with carefully selected grape varieties to reflect the best attributes of their sites—Dry Creek Valley’s consistent sunshine is ideal for Zinfandel, while the warm Alexander Valley is responsible for rich, voluptuous red wines like Cabernet Sauvignon. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are important throughout the county, most notably in the cooler AVAs of Russian River, Sonoma Coast and Carneros. Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Syrah have also found a firm footing here.
Thin-skinned, finicky and temperamental, Pinot Noir is also one of the most rewarding grapes to grow and remains a labor of love for some of the greatest vignerons in Burgundy. Fairly adaptable but highly reflective of the environment in which it is grown, Pinot Noir prefers a cool climate and requires low yields to achieve high quality. Outside of France, outstanding examples come from in Oregon, California and throughout specific locations in wine-producing world. Somm Secret—André Tchelistcheff, California’s most influential post-Prohibition winemaker decidedly stayed away from the grape, claiming “God made Cabernet. The Devil made Pinot Noir.”