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We currently produce four vineyard designated Pinot Noirs. Each of these wines is crafted from the same clonal material; two small clustered low yielding clones that were imported from a Grand Cru vineyard in Burgundy which we began propagating over 20 years ago.
Our goal in crafting our Pinot Noirs is to capture the elusive Pinot character expressed in each of our exceptional coastal sites. We strive to produce elegant, harmonious wines which are impressive for their purity, balance, and lingering perfume. From these sites there is a progression of color and length of character as we move towards the coast.
This ridge-top vineyard looks to the coast in one direction and the Russian River Valley in the other. The Vineyard sits on layers of sandstone, granular sediments and some petrified wood and has been the source of the Kistler Vineyard Pinot Noir since 2006. A concentrated wine, with impressive energy to its red and black fruit flavors and subtle earth tones.
Steve Kistler has backed off extraction for his Pinot Noirs, resulting in more ethereal (but not light) Pinots that are less burdened down by tannin in their youth, with each vineyard’s distinctive fruit and terroir coming through with much greater intensity. After experimenting with some Dijon clones, Kistler became convinced that the best clone for cool climate vineyards is the Calera Clone from California, and based on what he has achieved, I can’t argue. The deep ruby/purple-hued 2005 Pinot Noir Kistler Vineyard possesses sweet blueberry, raspberry, and forest floor notes, zesty acidity, elegance, and finesse, and a medium-bodied finish.
Kistler Vineyards, undeniably one of the world’s finest winemaking estates, is run with passionate dedication to detail and quality by Steve Kistler and Mark Bixler. It is wines like these that keep an old critic like me inspired and energized.
Previously recommended: 2004 Chardonnay Durell Vineyard (91-93), 2004 Chardonnay Dutton Ranch (93-95), 2004 Chardonnay Hudson Vineyard (92-94), 2004 Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard (94-96), 2004 Chardonnay Kistler Vineyard (94-96+), 2004 Chardonnay Kistler Vineyard Cuvee Cathleen (95-97), 2004 Chardonnay McCrea Vineyard (92-94), 2004 Chardonnay Vine Hill Vineyard (94-96), 2004 Pinot Noir Bodega Headlands Cuvee Elizabeth (96-98), 2004 Pinot Noir Kistler Vineyard (92-94), 2004 Pinot Noir Kistler Vineyard Cuvee Catherine Occidental Station (94-95).
Napa Valley 2005 Vintage Report / Winter rains took pause for a dry, mild March then began again with record-setting precipitation late into the growing season delaying bloom and set. The summer months were cool and pleasant with few heat spikes. Fog and cool temperatures were a concern heading into September as sugar levels were yet to rise in all varieties. Warm, nearly perfect conditions arrived with an Indian Summer making for a later than average harvest, providing winemakers with fruit with extended hang and ultimately realizing excellent sugar development and balanced acids with a larger than average crop of what could be a signature vintages from Napa Valley.