Occidental Freestone-Occidental Pinot Noir 2021
(75 customer reviews)

Occidental Freestone-Occidental Pinot Noir 2021

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13.30% /
750ml /
Vintage: 2021
  • MEL 94
  • WA 98
  • VIN 95
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Wine Description

Occidental Freestone-Occidental Pinot Noir 2021, crafted by the esteemed winemaker Steve Kistler, is a true gem that showcases the essence of the Occidental pinot noir. Sourced from three renowned vineyards in Sonoma Coast AVA, namely Bodega Headlands, Occidental Station, and Bodega Ridge, this wine captures the unique terroir of each site.

In the glass, the wine exhibits a captivating, crystalline ruby color that sparkles with brilliance. The aromas unfold gradually, enticing the senses with a bouquet of blueberry, rhubarb, and cranberry. Delicate notes of bitter orange, amaro, mossy bark, and lavender add complexity and intrigue, revealing new accents with each return to the glass.

On the palate, the 2021 Freestone-Occidental Pinot Noir mesmerizes with its mouthwatering character and a touch of salinity. Juicy red berries take center stage, exuding vibrant flavors that dance with finesse and energy. The wine achieves a remarkable balance between bright, primary red fruits and saline elements. Impeccable precision and lift are evident, creating a harmonious experience on the palate. The wine finishes with vibrancy and remarkable length, adorned with beautifully sculpted tannins that leave a lasting impression.

With a modest alcohol content of 13.3%, this Pinot Noir is a versatile companion for any meal. Its vibrant flavors and refreshing acidity make it an excellent choice to enjoy now, while its potential for development in the bottle promises even greater savory complexity over the next decade.

Receiving an outstanding score of 98 points from Wine Advocate by Robert Parker, the 2021 Freestone-Occidental Pinot Noir is celebrated for its expressive and detailed nature. The fragrant fruit floods the palate, accompanied by chalky tannins and focused, shimmery acidity that entices you to take another sip. The wine culminates in a haunting finish loaded with layers of spice, making it difficult to resist its allure. Whether savored now for its transparency and perfume or allowed to evolve in the bottle, this wine is a testament to the winemaker’s artistry and the extraordinary vineyards of Freestone-Occidental.

Additional information
Weight 3.5 lbs

Reviews (75)

75 reviews for Occidental Freestone-Occidental Pinot Noir 2021

  1. David Britt

    Concentrated nose with deep cherry and berry aromas. Malty notes. Sweet and rounded on the palate, with balanced alcohol. Fruit is good. Immediate appeal.

  2. Shanda Vahle

    Generously acidic Occidental Pinot Noir with cherry chapstick aromas, darker cherry and graphite palate, sweet earth tones, medium minus tannin, and over 14.1% ABV.

  3. Clara Violette

    Soft, plump Pinot Noir with medium plus acidity from a cool vintage that heated up on Labor Day.

  4. Rafael Pena

    Generous pomegranate aroma and flavor with a zesty palate and slight dissolved CO2. Highly praised by Steve Kistler for 2018.

  5. Zelda Solt

    Great Cali wine with ripe notes, moderate alcohol, and intense focus. Balanced oak, jumpy aromatics. Impressed.

  6. James Viesselman

  7. Geneva Mcilwraith

    Pleasing wine with tart cherry, zinging acidity, and sharp spice, though a bit lean.

  8. Ashleigh Weis

    Dark brick red. Cherry, forest floor, and smoky bacon aromas. Medium acidity, classic pinot fruit with a spicy warmth. Balanced with light tannins and a toasty finish. Juicy.

  9. Howard Beattie

    Well-integrated oak, medium-bodied Pinot with tart cranberry notes and a nice mouthfeel.

  10. Thomas Gunnerson

    This Pinot Noir has a striking purity and explosive nose of red fruits with a delicate salty note. The palate has an incredibly electric dose of bright acidity and fine-grained tannins. It’s refreshing and cellar-worthy.

  11. Robert Macy

    “First time, liked it enough to purchase again.”

  12. Irene Bolin

    Good acidity, but could be better.

  13. Thomas Pensinger

    Review: Modern and easy to appreciate, quite alright.

  14. Susan Hoglund

    Outstanding Cali Pinot. Complex, fruity nose and finish. Highest ranking this year. Best $55 Pinot around.

  15. Ellis Binkley

    Juicy cherry and tart cranberry with subtle spice notes. Good on its own or with food, like rack of lamb or veal. Cousin Pudge bought it at auction for a great price. Well done and will improve with age.

  16. May Owens

    This is a Cuve Catherine, but the vintage is not specified.

  17. James Mcgovern

    Score: 91-92. Initial cherry, sandalwood, tea, kola nut scents. Good acidity, ample tannins. Benefit from 2-3 years in cellar. Nice, restrained CA PN.

  18. Curtis Sterling

    Balanced and lovely Pinot, underrated by ratings. Not the typical toasty jam bomb of CA.

  19. Stewart Hanley

    Review: Good, but hoping for even better in 19.

  20. Arthur Ahrens

    Spicy aroma with dark color. Full-bodied wine with ripe cherry and blackberry flavors. Long finish with good complexity.

  21. Dawn Marsh

    “Great pinot with high acidity, needs aging or decanting. Good value for its pedigree.”

  22. Beverly Achee

    Pure and silky with notes of cherry-rhubarb pie, red spice, and fresh plums. Enjoyable now with potential for aging until 2031.

  23. Brett Costa

    Metallic notes overpower the wine, rendering it flawed.

  24. Kayla Randall

    Consistent with notes from 8/20/2020.

  25. Alvin Edison

    Delicious wine with ripe fruit, hidden alcohol, and great spice and acidity. Tannins are well-integrated. Even better on day 2.

  26. William Johnson

    Day 1: Elegant, true acidity. Day 2: Balanced, beautiful fruit with a hint of citrus. Focused throughout. Thanks!

  27. Vincent Mayfield

    Buttered strawberry toast on the nose, with a long pallet of bing cherries and toasted oak. Finish is excellent.

  28. Stormy Patton

    Fun and youthful, OCC is a great bargain at $43. Lush red fruit and a long finish make it perfect to pair with grilled lobster and tuna. Shared with RP on Mother’s Day.

  29. Jessie Hinerman

    Lean and vibrant wine tasted at the winery.

  30. Edward Arnold

    Great juice with bright acidity and notes of cranberry, pomegranate, and wild strawberry. A slight tartness on the mid-palate with a long finish. Excellent value for the price.

  31. Sharon Caudill

    Excellent balance and body with ripe fruits. Light on its feet, only 13.4% abv. Great now with decant, better in 1-2 years. Bravo Occidental.

  32. Arthur Aguirre

    Clean, smooth, grapefruit and citrus nose with a slight floral touch. Would have been better if decanted for 2 hours. Stunning in 2+ years.

  33. Florence Green

    Superb Occidental Pinot, worth every penny at $58.

  34. Steve Dalbec

    Great value, high-end Pinot with a fruity and lively taste.

  35. Theodore Todd

    Young Pinot, needs aging. Hints of incense.

  36. Christopher Moore

    Lively and seductive.

  37. Daryl Gross

    Garnet color, high acid, tart, berry flavor.

  38. Rose Mulligan

    “Amazing entry-level wine with violet/floral nose, savory herbal flavors, and cool coastal notes. Mildly sweet fruit with tight and coiled finish. Great potential.”

  39. Gayle Pasculli

    This Pinot feels different – thicker and denser. Decanting helps but it needs more time. Not your typical Pinot but worth a try if you like a unique expression.

  40. Nicolas Jenkins

    Great wine!

  41. Lauren Velis

    Top pick of the night, this wine has big shoulders and a balanced taste of dark berries with hints of savory soil notes.

  42. Kathy Jones

    Great quality and balance with sparkling acidity and earthy notes of berry, vanilla, and baking spices. The oak may need a year or two for complexity. A 93-point wine worth getting, and worth considering the 2019 vintage.

  43. Shawn Shaw

    Great pinot noir with cherry, leather, and sandalwood notes. A bit high in acid now, but will be fantastic in a few years. Better than 2017 and complex. Will reach 95p in 2-3 years.

  44. Gene Villanvera

    Approachable with mild acidity. Notes of bright cherry, baking spice, mineral, and savory. Age for 5 years for greatness.

  45. Vera Belew

    Kistler’s Pinot Noir 19 vintage is refined with red berries, licorice, and velvety tannins. Elegantly easy-going, drinks well today.

  46. Daniel Getter

    Great wine, highly recommend!

  47. Bessie Morales

    Medium-bodied with notes of raspberries and tart strawberries, this wine has a minerally streak and is not overly fruity. A crowd-pleaser.

  48. Benjamin Mcmillan

    Impressive American pinot blend with young vines. Notes of red and darker fruits, floral aromas, and a long finish. Paired well with duck breast. 93 points with upside.

  49. Jessie Clark

    Excellent Pinot Noir ($110) at Glen Ellen Star. Red cherries, strawberries, currants, and raspberries, with a bit of forest floor. Light to medium-bodied, brisk acidity, and good complexity. Perfect with roasted Branzino and lamb rigatoni. Refreshing, versatile, and reasonably priced.

  50. Audrey Lewis

    Great wine, not typical PN. Evolved, perfumed nose, silky palate, dense color, generous red fruit profile. Complex aromas/flavors, hard to pinpoint. Will savor remaining bottles and may get another case.

  51. John Zanella

    Wine needs time.

  52. Laura Hall

    Delicious red fruit with a hint of earth and herbs on the nose. Tart but still smooth. Need to buy more Occidental.

  53. Carl Gouin

    Fantastic Pinot with deep fruit, lovely sweetness, and balanced acidity. Juicy finish and lingering aftertaste.

  54. Thelma Borkowski

    Spiced nose and floral notes with a juicy finish. Very Good to Excellent. My WOTN and elegant.

  55. Helen Moore

    Superb, high-end Pinot at a great value.

  56. Perry Smith

    Lovely American Pinot, as expected.

  57. Deborah Thompson

    Translucent redish purple with savory, herbal, and floral notes. Fresh berries, Bing cherry, and mulled orange spice add to the flavor profile. A minerally acidic backbone adds to its coastal fresh frame. So good!

  58. John Pollard


  59. Dexter Smith

    Wine needed time to open up, should have been decanted. Acidity was unbalanced initially, but improved with time. 88 points.

  60. Barbara Ellis

    High energy Pinot with cherry, red plum, incense and pastille flavors. Dense tannic core. A promising wine.

  61. Jacquie Myers

    Bottle opened too close to service. Not as good as previous bottle. Richer taste. Need to decant longer. Holding off on new bottle.

  62. William Vasquez

    Good, but needs longer decanting. Aromas of dark cherries, raspberry, cranberry, and forest floor. Medium body, fresh fruit, light tannins, good length. Save for a few years.

  63. Charles Ziegler

    Delicious and easy to drink, a great choice for everyday enjoyment.

  64. Wanda Harrison

    Fantastic 2018 wine with round tannins, high acidity, and a perfect balance of chalk, red berries, sandalwood, and earl grey. Perfect around 2026-2030. 95+.

  65. Precious Pitts

    “Great wine, cherry and ripe strawberry nose, good concentration and acid structure.”

  66. Michele Mcleod

    Disappointing for the price. Plum and berry profile with a med(-) complexity/finish. Expected more from Kistler’s Sonoma coast venture.

  67. Dan Smith

    Pinot Noir with pungent sour red cherry notes and rich flavor. Improved with air.

  68. Monica Riley

    Chateau Biawak Chapter 9: SONOMAvatar – The way of water. Intoxicating and aromatic with red berries, cherries, and raspberries. Sees 25% new French oak for 11 months before spending a further 3 months in stainless steel. Saline finish.

  69. Brandy Imlay

    Silky texture, concentrated flavor, worth the $65.

  70. Julie Parker

    Complex, deep, rich and polished. Best enjoyed without food or with canapés/snacks. Doesn’t pair well with cheese. Enjoyable now and could last 20+ years.

  71. Barbara Wells

    A ripe and floral Pinot from a warm climate with balanced acidity and fruity mid-palate. Nice wine from the area.

  72. Kathryn Savage

    Superb wine with cherry, tea, blueberry, and orange peel notes. Can age longer. Comparable to a 1er cru burgundy.

  73. Frank Townsley

    New world style with cherry cola notes and prickly tannin finish. Drinkable now but better to age for a few years.

  74. Bryan Clair

    Young and delicious with impressive depth of smoke, rhubarbs, cherries, and earthy aroma. Delicate and balanced with high acidity, spiciness, blueberries, and liquorice. Lengthy finish.

  75. Frances Willet

    Deep color, sodium, rhubarb, cherries, dill, smoke. Delicate and spicy with blueberry and licorice on the palate. Long finish. Great wine, but better to keep for now.

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Critical Acclaim

MEL 94
Mel's Notes
Color: Captivating, crystalline ruby Nose: An intricate dance of aromas graces the senses, opening with blueberry, rhubarb, and cranberry. As the wine breathes, it unveils delicate undertones of bitter orange, amaro, mossy bark, and lavender, constantly revealing new facets with each swirl. Palate: A mesmerizing journey of flavors, this Pinot Noir paints the palate with juicy red berries that resonate with vigor. The flavors meld seamlessly with a touch of salinity, creating a harmonious blend of vibrant fruits and saline nuances. The precision and lift with which the wine unfolds are impeccable, leading to a lively finish that's accentuated by sculpted tannins. Character: This wine embodies finesse and energy, brilliantly balancing its bright red fruit core with saline elements. With a modest alcohol content of 13.3%, it showcases its versatility, ready to accompany a diverse range of dishes.
WA 98
Wine Advocate
The 2021 Pinot Noir Freestone-Occidental is incredibly expressive and detailed! Its aromas open slowly from blueberry, rhubarb and cranberry to tones of bitter orange, amaro, mossy bark and lavender, continuing to reveal new accents with each return to the glass. Light-bodied, it floods the mouth with fragrant, detailed fruit supported by chalky tannins and focused, shimmery acidity that calls you in for another sip. It has a haunting finish loaded with spicy layers, and it's very difficult to put this delicious wine down. Drink it now for its transparency and perfume, or allow it to develop savory complexity in bottle over the next decade.
VIN 95
The 2021 Pinot Noir Freestone-Occidental is outrageously beautiful. Rich, heady and explosive, the 2021 is captivating right out of the gate. Inky dark red fruit, blood orange, game, spice, cedar, pipe tobacco, pomegranate and exotic flowers build as this, dense, potent Pinot shows off its tremendous resonance and textural depth. Wow!

What does Occidental Freestone-Occidental Pinot Noir 2021 taste like?


leather, earthy, mushroom

cherry, raspberry, red fruit

oak, tobacco, vanilla

peach, baked apple

blackberry, plum, dark fruit

pepper, licorice, cinnamon

citrus, lemon, grapefruit




guava, kiwi

violet, potpourri, perfume

Food Pairing with Occidental Freestone-Occidental Pinot Noir 2021

Our wine experts think this Red Wine Occidental Freestone-Occidental Pinot Noir 2021 wine would be a match made in heaven with these dishes. Bon appétit!
When it comes to the world of fine wines, California holds a prominent place on the global stage, and among its esteemed wineries, Occidental Wines stands as a shining gem. Located in the western reaches of Sonoma County, Occidental Wines has garnered a reputation for producing exceptional Pinot Noir that captures the essence of the region's terroir. Founded by renowned winemaker Steve Kistler, Occidental Wines embodies a commitment to crafting wines that express the unique character of their vineyards. With a meticulous approach to winemaking, Kistler and his team carefully select sites that possess the ideal combination of soil, climate, and exposure. This attention to detail ensures that every bottle of Occidental wine reflects the true spirit of its origin. One of the... Read More
Pinot Noir grapes exhibit a distinct elegance. Their thin skins and tightly clustered berries make them susceptible to disease and challenging to cultivate. However, the rewards of this persnickety grape are extraordinary. Pinot Noir wines possess a remarkable flavor profile, often described as silky, with vibrant acidity, delicate tannins, and an array of aromas. Expect to encounter red fruit notes like cherry and raspberry, accompanied by earthy undertones, floral hints, and sometimes a touch of spice. Renowned regions such as Burgundy in France, the Willamette Valley in Oregon, and California's Sonoma County have become synonymous with exceptional Pinot Noir production. Each region brings its own terroir and climate, contributing to the wine's character. Burgundy, for instance,... Read More

Winemaker of Occidental Freestone-Occidental Pinot Noir 2021

Steve Kistler

Steve Kistler, a renowned winemaker, has carved a name for himself as a visionary in the world of wine production. With an unwavering dedication to quality and an artistic approach to winemaking, Kistler has become a revered figure among wine enthusiasts. From his humble beginnings to his remarkable achievements, let us delve into the story of this extraordinary vintner. Steve Kistler's journey began in the 1970s when he co-founded Kistler Vineyards in Sonoma County, California. From the outset, his ambition was clear: to produce wines that could rival the best in the world. With an uncompromising focus on site selection, meticulous vineyard management, and precise winemaking techniques, Kistler quickly established himself as a true pioneer in the industry. Kistler's unwavering... Read More
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Introduction: Nestled along the breathtaking coastline of Northern California, Sonoma Coast AVA stands as a captivating wine region that entices with its stunning landscapes and exceptional grape varietals. Known for its cool-climate viticulture and diverse terroir, this AVA has become renowned for producing outstanding wines that reflect the unique characteristics of the area. Location and Size: Sonoma Coast Read More

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