"Medium ruby-purple in color, the 2014 Pinot Noir SWK Vineyard appears to playing it close to the chest at this early stage, offering subtle suggestions of red cherries, raspberry leaves, Provence herbs and fragrant earth with a hint of Sichuan pepper. Medium-bodied, elegant, fine and tightly-knit on the palate, it has a wonderfully lively backbone and persistent earth and herb layers on the finish. Not giving quite as much as the other two vineyard-designate wines, I’ve been cautious with my scoring and look forward to seeing what this wine can do over the next decade.
Of course, the Kistler story doesn’t end with Kistler Vineyards. Steve Kistler’s pioneering spirit and pursuit of world class Pinot Noir took him to Occidental/Freestone and beyond, with vineyards extending right out to the Bodega Headlands, practically within spitting distance of the Pacific Ocean. The vineyards for his Occidental Wines label were planted in the early 2000s, when few were even considering this now sought-after “extreme” coastal area. When I asked Steve about the clones he planted, he replied with a secretive grin, “It’s mostly Calera and some suitcase stuff that is very proprietary.” Contributing to the beguiling character of the Cuvee Catherine Pinot Noir, whatever that “suitcase stuff” is, it certainly seems to be delivering the goods. With the vines really starting to come of age at the time of the magical 2014 vintage in Sonoma, Occidental hits pay dirt with an incredibly strong foursome of new releases." (WA)
"The 2014 Pinot Noir SWK Vineyard is the most reticent of these Pinots, as it was last year. Intense fruit and structure come together, but the wine is not at all ready to give everything it has. Dark red and purplish fruit overtones are lifted by the wine's bright acidity and tannic underpinnings. This nervous, taut Pinot needs a few years to settle down, but it has tremendous promise. " (VM)
High-pitched aromas of pomegranates, red raspberry, rose and crushed stone. Rich, full, and tightly structured, with an intense floral perfume leading to a slow-building mineral finish. Combines power and concentration with finesse. Decant and enjoy.