From Steve Kistler's first harvest in 1975 at the Ridge he developed a distinct preference for the coastal character of their coastal Occidental Vineyard zinfandel when compared to the other zinfandels in the cellar. Through his time at Kistler he built up his holdings on the Sonoma Coast convinced that many of California’s most compelling pinot noirs would come from these maritime sites in the future. Before founding Occidental in 2011 he started buying property and planting pinot noir in 1999 on these ridges surrounding Freestone Valley. Today they farm 85 acres of pinot noir vineyards in the Freestone-Occidental area and Steve works alongside not only many of the vineyard and winery team from his 25 years of success at Kistler but hsi daughters Catherine & Lizzie.
Occidental Freestone Occidental Pinot Noir 2018
The 2018 Pinot Noir Freestone Occidental is a truly remarkable wine. Maybe that is the vintage, or the added complexity the vines are acquiring with time, but the 2018 Freestone Occidental makes me incredibly curious to taste the rest of the 2018s. Bright, focused and beautifully sculpted, the 2018 is a wine of total elegance and finesse. Moreover, it captures the savory, energetic, saline style that is so typical of this part of the Sonoma Coast.”
94 Points, Antonio Galloni, Vinous, April 2020
“The 2018 Pinot Noir Freestone-Occidental comes mostly from younger vines at the Occidental property but is made with the same attention to detail as the other wines in the portfolio, using free-run juice. Its nose is an aromatic well, offering crushed blueberries, charcuterie, Earl Grey tea leaves, graphite, saline, bitter orange peel and potpourri aromas. In the mouth, it explodes with lush fruits that give way after their initial rush to bitter, citrusy, minerally accents. It has a fine grain, seamless freshness and long, layered finish. It’s enjoyable now but will age well over the next five to eight-plus years.”
95+Points, Erin Brooks, The Wine Advocate, July 2020
The Freestone-Occidental pinot noir includes a blend of fruit from the estate’s Bodega Headlands, Occidental Station, and Bodega Ridge vineyards. It shares the same winemaking techniques as the vineyard-designated pinot noirs – fermented with native yeasts and native Malo-Lactic bacteria.
This bottling expresses the same energy, precision, and purity of flavor that gives all of Occidental’s wines lift and perfume, along with the deeper soil tones that contribute to its complexity. Made entirely from free-run juice, it is delicious now and will develop nicely in bottle. Currently available in restaurants and selected retail stores.