Occidental is the family project of Californian winemaking legend Steve Kistler, who made his name with Chardonnay and Pinot Noir in the 80s and 90s sourced from other people's vineyards. In the 1990s he began to buy land and plant on the coolest areas of the Sonoma Coast, and only began making wine from them from 2011 onwards. He uses mostly his same cellar crew and makes wines of great precision and absolute clarity of purpose. These are possibly the most pristine Pinot Noirs we have tasted from California.
Our goal each year is to capture the vibrancy, energy and rare, chiseled red fruit quality that this site is capable of producing. We pick the Bodega Headlands Vineyard in multiple passes at the early edge of ripeness to produce a firmly structured wine that is distinguished by its complexity and intensity rather than any dimension of weight.
We preserve as many intact whole berries as possible throughout the fermentation process by using the bare minimum number of gentle punch downs. The temperature of the cap and of the fermenting juice is kept lower than our other bottlings in order to capture the high-toned, lifted aromatics and saline essence this site expresses. This gives the Bodega Headlands pinot noir the vivid aromatics we desire, along with a measure of elegance and grace.
High-pitched aromas of red raspberry, crushed stone, and rose petal. A pure, crystalline wine that features a stunning combination of precision, finesse, and razor-edged salinity. This is a beautifully layered and balanced wine that finishes with bright red fruit and floral intensity.
Origin: Sonoma Coast / California
Grapes: Pinot Noir