2016 Occidental Pinot Noir Occidental Station Vineyard

Year: 2016
Appellation: Sonoma Coast
Country: USA - California
Wine Advocate: 94
Vinous Media: 94
Jeb Dunnuck: 96
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 13.4%
Price :


"Steve Kistler says this is the warmest and most inland of his sites and that this is usually the first fruit to be picked. Pale to medium ruby-purple in color, the 2016 Pinot Noir Occidental Station Vineyard opens with black tea leaf, saline, black cherry, dried rose petal, rhubarb, warm cranberries and a touch of smoke with black raspberries, warm earth and dried herbs hints. Light to medium-bodied, it packs in the savory fruits with focused intensity, framed by soft, fine-grained tannins and juicy freshness and finishing very long and layered.

Although the first vintage of Occidental was 2011, Steve Kistler began developing the vineyards for the project back in 1999. In a year or two, he says, some of the later planted vines will be old enough to put into production. About 6,000 cases of Pinot Noir are made annually—the Freestone Occidental is a blend of fruit from several sites, and four vineyard-designate bottlings are made as well. 2016 is the current release.

Kistler says, “To me 2016 is a great vintage. It produced intense, concentrated, delicious wines. The fruit out here reached the early edge of ripeness, where the skins were mature but sugar levels were very moderate. And just as it reached that point of maturity, the weather turned cool for a couple weeks and we had this amazing picking window where we could allow each block to ripen at our leisure. So, the wines to me absolutely reflect their coastal origin. They couldn’t be made in the Russian River Valley. They have this sort of chiseled red fruit character and saline aspect that really takes them to a different level. And it’s not every year, on the coast, that you can make wines that truly scream of where they’re from. 2016 was that vintage. So, when I’m teaching my daughters, this is the style I want.” These wines are stunning for their finesse, elegance and purity of fruit and are some of the finest examples of a truly coastal style of Pinot Noir from California." (WA)

"The 2016 Pinot Noir Occidental Station is another stand out in this range. High-toned, aromatically expressive and silky, the 2016 is incredibly harmonious. Today, the Occidental Station is the most open-knit and sensual of the wines, which makes it easier to drink on the earlier side. Silky tannins add to the wine's considerable appeal. The inclusion of 25% whole clusters adds nuance throughout." (VM)

"The 2016 Pinot Noir Occidental Station Vineyard is a more rounded, mouthfilling effort compared to the other cuvées (it also sees a touch of whole cluster) and is medium to full-bodied, beautifully textured, and layered, with classic notes of forest floor, flowery spice, earth, and sweet black raspberry fruit. It has a wonderful finish, the purity of fruit that's common from this address, and the class to evolve for 10-15 years or more." (JD)

Winery Notes:
Deeply-pitched aromas of purple fruits, graphite and cassis. A stony minerality energizes and elevates the palate, which features an impressive array of red and black fruit flavors. Delivers great intensity and concentration without giving any impression of weight. Finishes vibrant and long with a delicate violet and blackcurrant perfume. -SK