Occidental Freestone-Occidental Pinot Noir 2016
The 2016 Freestone-Occidental posses the energy, precision, and purity of flavor that gives all of Occidental wines lift and perfume, along with the deeper soil tones that contribute to their complexity. Remarkably vivid and beautifully layered, this wine shows elegance and great overall balance. It is delicious now and will develop nicely in bottle.
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
Possessing a great nose of black raspberries, kirsch, violet, and forest floor, the 2016 Pinot Noir Freestone-Occidental is bright and juicy, with elegance and beautiful purity of fruit. Showing fine tannins, a lovely floral quality, integrated acidity, and a great finish, this is pure class.
Pale to medium ruby-purple, the 2016 Pinot Noir Freestone-Occidental has a bright, open nose of warm cranberry, rhubarb and pomegranate with raspberry and red cherry preserves plus notes of saline, orange peel, autumn leaves, rose petal and stone. Light to medium-bodied, it's packed with juicy red, perfumed fruits in the mouth, with very fine, softly grainy tannins and juicy freshness, finishing long and focused. There's a unique coastal signature to this very pretty wine.
Occidental is Steve Kistler’s pinot noir project with a singular focus – to make world-class pinot noir from unique sites on the headlands in the Freestone-Occidental area. Since the early 1990s, Steve Kistler has believed that the climate and soils on the uplifted marine terraces and ridges around the town of Bodega would be ideal for growing distinctive and Burgundian-style pinot noir. Steve founded Occidental as a small, family brand in 2011, and built a state-of-the-art winery just east of the town of Bodega overlooking the Pacific Ocean. He now works alongside his eldest daughter, Catherine. The Occidental vineyards represent the western edge of where pinot noir can be successfully grown in California. Steve and his team at Occidental now farm 85 acres of pinot noir vineyards in the Freestone-Occidental area with great skill and commitment. The Occidental pinot noirs are crystalline wines with vivid aromatics and intense red-fruit flavors. They have a wonderfully chiseled quality, layered with savory and mineral character.
A vast appellation covering Sonoma County’s Pacific coastline, the Sonoma Coast AVA runs all the way from the Mendocino County border, south to the San Pablo Bay. The region can actually be divided into two sections—the actual coastal vineyards, marked by marine soils, cool temperatures and saline ocean breezes—and the warmer, drier vineyards further inland, which are still heavily influenced by the Pacific but not quite with same intensity.
Contained within the appellation are the much smaller Fort Ross-Seaview and Petaluma Gap AVAs.
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.”