2007 Kistler "Cuvée Elizabeth - Bodega Headlands Vineyard" Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

SKU #1053834 96-98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Previously recommended, no tastng note given. Following the brilliant success of Kistler’s 2007s, Steve Kistler and his sidekick, Mark Bixler, deserve kudos for what they have achieved in the more challenging 2008 vintage. This is the first vintage in which 100% of the fermentations were indigenous, and, fortunately, all their Sonoma Coast vineyards were far enough south that they were not tainted by any of the smoke from the ferocious fires that spread through Mendocino. The 2008s appear to be slightly more fruit-forward, with a touch less minerality than the 2007s. They are full-bodied, impressively endowed wines, with the Chardonnays best drunk during their first 5-7 years of life, and the Pinot Noirs during their first 10-12. (RP)  (2/2010)

94 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Glass-staining ruby. Aromas of raspberry, licorice, sexy potpourri and Asian spices are lifted by a smoky mineral topnote. Dense, sappy and penetrating, with a deep sweetness and lovely inner-mouth perfume to the red berry, floral and spice flavors. Impressively large-scaled yet suave and vibrant owing to its superb balance and intense minerality. Finishes with striking aromatic persistence and lingering floral notes. (ST)  (6/2010)

K&L Notes

From a previous Robert Parker Wine Advocate Review: "The Cuvee Cathleen is amazing stuff, only to be eclipsed by the 2007 Pinot Noir Cuvee Elizabeth Bodega Headlands. Sweet black raspberries, camphor, and forest floor notes intermixed with a cocktail of spring flowers all jump from the glass of this full-bodied, gorgeously proportioned, rich wine that is about as compelling as California Pinot Noir is capable of being. It has a Burgundy-like structure, but its great purity of fruit and dazzling texture and length are awesome. This wine should drink well young but hit its stride in 5-6 years and last for 15-20 years." (Wine Advocate #180, Dec 2008)

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Varietal:

Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).