Kistler Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2018 Red Wine

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Kistler Russian River Valley Pinot Noir 2018

2018 was an excellent vintage in California, which makes this famous Pinot Noir all the more spectacular!

FROM THE WINERY:

Two heritage selections of Pinot Noir inform all of our Pinot Noirs. Originally hailing from a Grand Cru vineyard in Burgundy, we've been propagating these two selections for the last twenty-five years. They, like our Chardonnay clone are very low yielding, resulting in wines with a natural density and concentration of flavor, balanced by elegant natural acids and elevated aromatics.

RUSSIAN RIVER PINOT NOIR IS A MULTI-VINEYARD WINE

In Burgundy, some wines are simply labeled Premier Cru without designating a specific site. These wines still demonstrate superior quality but not necessarily a single vineyard expression. Kistler has several small block vineyards along the Laguna Ridge of the Russian River Valley and further west where the ridgeline crosses into the Sonoma Coast AVA. Although Goldridge sand is predominant, there are isolated pockets where the soil is rich in iron oxide and bands of gravel. This red-orange soil combined with the cool ocean influence provides the ideal terror for Pinot Noir. The young vines support two wines that show the regional expression of Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast.

AN ENTIRE YEAR'S WORK CULMINATES IN A SINGLE DAY'S DECISION

Throughout the growing season the vines are nurtured, leaves are pulled and fruit is dropped to attain optimal flavor development. Sampling involves tasting grapes and measuring sugar and acidity to determine the ideal pick date. The goal is to pick the fruit on the perfect day when the fruit needs no amelioration. Consequently The Pinot Noir is picked on average about 3 days earlier than in previous years. All harvesting is done by hand at night when the fruit is freshest and brightest. The early start allows for unhurried sorting of the cool grapes the next morning.

WINEMAKING IS GENTLE EVERY STEP OF THE WAY

Pinot Noir clusters are meticulously sorted upon reception. Each vineyard block is handled separately, destemmed and reorganized in separate individual bins. Precise analysis of acidity and sugar levels of each bin dictates the ideal combination for each open-top fermentation tank. These tanks are only used once each vintage so each fermentation can be handled as slowly and carefully. A crew watches the Pinot fermentations day and night constantly monitoring temperatures looking for fluctuations. No punch downs are scheduled. When necessary a gentle stirring occurs to moderate temperatures. The objective is to extract as little tannin as possible. Only free run juice is put into barrel, no pressing occurs. After 10 months of maturation in French oak barrels the wine is racked just once into a bottling tank. The wine is bottled without fining or filtration.

EVERY YEAR THERE IS A DIFFERENT MESSAGE IN THE BOTTLE

The 2018 vintage was a harvest requiring great patience. Conditions were quite opposite to 2017 as the pH levels were quite low and the season ended with a cool gradual finish. The fruit came in with balanced acids and a deep concentration reflecting earlier decisions to drop fruit and reduce crop levels. The wine has a ruby color. Aromas are profound with black cherry notes and a slight hint of flintiness. The 2018 vintage is more muscular than previous renditions of Russian River Pinot Noir. The finish is long with a hint of black tea character. This wine has the potential to improve and develop over the next 5-7 years.


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