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Occidental Bodega Headlands Cuvee Elizabeth Pinot Noir 2003

Pinot Noir from Sonoma County, California
  • RP95
0% ABV
  • JD99
  • RP97
  • JS95
  • RP96
  • RP98
  • WS92
  • RP98
  • RP99
  • RP99
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Currently Unavailable $200.00
Try the 2014 Vintage 189 97
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Winemaker Notes

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
In this case, I preferred the Cuvee Catherine to the 2003 Pinot Noir Cuvee Elizabeth, which reveals raspberry, pomegranate, cherry, and plum notes, crisp, tart acidity, some flowery characteristics, a lovely, medium-bodied mid-palate, and a good finish with vibrant acidity.
Range: 92-95
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Occidental

Occidental

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Occidental, Sonoma County, California
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Steve Kistler, founder and winemaker of Kistler Vineyards for 37 years, has established a new pinot noir brand "Occidental" which is owned and operated by the Kistler family.

Occidental is dedicated to the production of world-class pinot noir from the Freestone-Occidental area.

Occidental built a state-of-the-art winery on a ridge top next to the Bodega Headlands Vineyard overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Peak capacity is planned to be 7500 cases of pinot noir. The new winery was completed in August of 2013 just in time for the harvest.

Currently, Occidental produces three vineyard designated pinot noirs: Bodega Headlands, SWK Vineyard, and Occidental Station. These extreme coastal sites are among the coldest and latest ripening vineyards in the Freestone-Occidental area.

Sonoma County

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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.

Grape varieties are carefully selected 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 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.

Pinot Noir

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One of the most finicky yet rewarding grapes to grow, Pinot Noir is a labor of love for many. However, the greatest red wines of Burgundy prove that it is unquestionably worth the effort. In fact, it is the only red variety permitted in Burgundy. Highly reflective of its terroir, Pinot Noir prefers calcareous soils and a cool climate, requires low yields to achieve high quality and demands a lot of attention in the vineyard and winery. It retains even more glory as an important component of Champagne as well as on its own in France’s Loire Valley and Alsace regions. This sensational grape enjoys immense international success, most notably growing in Oregon, California and New Zealand with smaller amounts in Chile, Germany (as Spätburgunder) and Italy (as Pinot Nero).

In the Glass

Pinot Noir is all about red fruit—strawberry, raspberry and cherry with some heftier styles delving into the red or purple plum and in the other direction, red or orange citrus. It is relatively pale in color with soft tannins and a lively acidity. With age (of which the best examples can handle an astounding amount) it can develop hauntingly alluring characteristics of fresh earth, savory spice, dried fruit and truffles.

Perfect Pairings

Pinot’s healthy acidity cuts through the oiliness of pink-fleshed fish like salmon and tuna but its mild mannered tannins give it enough structure to pair with all sorts of poultry: chicken, quail and especially duck. As the namesake wine of Boeuf Bourguignon, Pinot noir has proven it isn’t afraid of beef. California examples work splendidly well with barbecue and Pinot Noir is also vegetarian-friendly—most notably with any dish that features mushrooms.

Sommelier Secret

For administrative purposes, the region of Beaujolais is often included in Burgundy. But it is extremely different in terms of topography, soil and climate, and the important red grape here is ultimately Gamay. Truth be told, there is a tiny amount of Gamay sprinkled around the outlying parts of Burgundy (mainly in Maconnais) but it isn’t allowed with any great significance and certainly not in any Villages or Cru level wines.

MLNELIZAB_2003 Item# 125859