Likely Last Call on Kistler Protege Allocated Pinot Noir
Just a brief, fair warning: Our first allocation of this mailing-list only Pinot Noir sold out in hours last month. We asked for more and can tell you that these 50 cases are going to fly fast. So read on (quickly) or first, hit “Buy” before missing out again.
Jason Kesner’s rise on the Napa Valley scene has been meteoric. His inaugural 2003 vintage of Kesner Wines landed on the “Highly Recommended” section of The French Laundry’s hallowed wine list, and has been a fixture of the menu ever since. At Hudson Vineyards, he cultivated some of the valley’s most sought-after fruit, yielding a multitude of 98- and 99-point wines for Kistler, Ramey, and Kongsgaard. In 2008, he became assistant winemaker at Kistler, and was named winemaker in 2014, presiding over the winery’s cult Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. No wonder then, that wines like this stunning 2015 Kesner Pinot “Coolend” are all but impossible to find. Much of the production ends up in the cellars of restaurants run by Thomas Keller and the like. The remainder is mailing-list only — except for today. Kesner first offered us 100 cases, which flew, and he’s happy to give those who missed out another shot. Likely the last 50 cases on this exclusive to Wine Access. $50 per bottle for cool-climate brilliance — while it lasts.
Kesner’s approach blends Burgundian rigor with a Californian education in farming, his formative years spent in a tractor seat with vineyard dirt on the knees of his jeans. That’s part of why Steve Kistler took such a liking to him, teaching the young vintner everything he knew as the two worked side-by-side for six harvests.
Coolend Vineyard — tucked into redwoods just outside of Philo at the western edge of the Anderson Valley, the “cool end” — is shrouded by fog in the morning and night, which keeps the Pinot Noir grapes cool, and packed with scintillating acidity. In 2015, gorgeous, healthy bunches teeming with crisp acidity and wild raspberry aromatics were farmed organically. We feel even even luckier to have scored this allocation since the 2015 vintage, while excellent, was an extremely low-yield year, with production halved in parts of California. A must-buy for lovers of nervy, coastal Pinot Noir.