It is always a pleasure to stop by Occidental. Once again, I saw Steve Kistler more relaxed than ever. Readers will find a set of intensely saline Pinots built on energy that stand in stark contrast to the dark, inky Pinots Steve Kistler once made at Kistler, the winery he founded in 1978. Kistler relates that much of the inspiration for Occidental came with the 2010 and 2011 vintages, years in which ripeness was naturally achieved at lower sugars and simply could not be pushed beyond a certain level. But what is most important is just how exquisitely beautiful these wines are. Steve Kistler is certainly making the most of this second chapter in his brilliant and storied career. Readers who can find these wines should not hesitate, as they are positively brilliant. - Antonio Galloni