International Wine Cellar
Author: Josh Raynolds
Issue: Issue 132
($90) Dark violet. Intensely aromatic nose offers powerful blackberry and plum compote aromas. Very fresh in the mouth (the pH is 3.4, Kistler says), with vibrant red and dark berry flavors and taut minerality. Dry, focused and pure on the finish, with outstanding persistence and lingering dark berry flavors. Serious pinot: a great marriage of sweet fruit and soil tones.
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Trust Rating: 95
Tasted On: 11/29/2013
Site Blog: mac_h
Trust Rating: 93
Tasted On: 01/06/2013
Trust Rating: 99
Tasted On: 12/22/2012
Drink Dates: 2008-2018
Dark rub. Very big. Decanted it for over an hour. Aromas waft a couple of feet from the glass. Abundant favors of cherries, raspberries mixed with aromas of flowers and damp forest floor. Terrific wine that ha many years ahead of it
Trust Rating: 99
Tasted On: 08/06/2011
Drink Dates: 2005-2017
The 2004 Pinot Noir Kistler Vineyard Cuvee Catherine Occidental Station boasts a glorious dark ruby/purple-tinged color as well as an extraordinary nose reminiscent of a Comte de Vogue Musigny Vieilles Vignes. Aromas of crushed rocks, violets, raspberries, sweet cherries, and a distinctive terroir character are present in this full-bodied effort. With oodles of vivacious fruit as well as wonderful freshness and palate penetration, this superb Pinot Noir should drink well for 10-12 years. Moreover, there are 1,000 cases.
For Steve Kistler and his longtime assistant, Mark Bixler, 2004 was a very small crop, even smaller than the modest production of 2003. This is a reference point winery for New World Chardonnay, although their viticultural and winemaking techniques are decidedly Burgundian. Interestingly, during the last year I have had an opportunity to taste some ten year old Kistler Chardonnays, and they have aged well in the bottle. While a decade is not long when compared with some long-lived white Burgundies, by the standards of most California Chardonnays, which are generally best consumed during their first 1-3 years of life, the Kistler techniques of whole cluster pressing, slow malolactic fermentation, aging on their lees in high quality French oak, and bottling without fining or filtration appear to be producing longer lived Chardonnays. Kistler has enjoyed a run of terrific vintages in the new century. Moreover, they seem to be ratcheting up their performance in terms of the quality and complexity of their Pinot Noirs.
(Release date 3/07)
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