Kastania Vineyards

2007 Jaden & Keira’s Cuvee Estate Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir

California: Sonoma County: Sonoma Coast

Offer Expired:Apr 11, 2011 at 11:59 pm
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Mission Codename: How many sips?

Operative: Agent Red

Objective: Infiltrate Petaluma Gap winery, Kastania Vineyards. Procure an allocation of their best single vineyard Pinot Noir for our demanding Operatives.

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Kastania Vineyards

Wine Subject: 2007 Pinot Noir – Sonoma Coast

Winemaker: Leslie Sisneros

Backgrounder: The Sonoma Coast AVA is the 750 square mile area with the Pacific ocean on its western boundary, the San Pablo Bay to the south and Mendocino County to the north, headed inland to the other designated AVAs in Sonoma County. The region is heavily influenced by the cooler ocean climate, increased rainfall and fog that lingers long on the coastal mountains. The Petaluma Gap encompasses a small, verdant are at the southern edge of the appellation. The specific climate there suits the demanding Burgundian varietal of Pinot Noir very well. Made by wine legend, Leslie Cisneros, today’s wine is a delicious treat that is well worthy of your consideration.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Beautiful, concentrated ruby hues at the center of the wine fade to a fine pink at the edge of the glass. Swirl the wine, and a cascade of wine-stained tears form quickly and then run quickly down the edges of the glass.

Smell – Sweet Bing cherry, black cherry, red plum and cedar shavings. These are followed by softer notes of oak, raspberry and hints of gunpowder with subtle pepper and clove.

Feel – Velvet smooth on the initial attack, then soft and round across the mid-palate. As the wine settles on the tongue, it becomes softly grippy, adding a spreading dryness. Supple tannins eventually give the wine a crushed velvet feel.

Taste – Ripe red cherry and Raspberry and black cherry out in front. Then dark cranberry, red plum and are accompanied by soft black pepper, cinnamon and clove.

Finish – Very long and very flavorful, the finish leads with red fruit and then goes softly spicy, with pepper, cinnamon and clove. At the very end, the wine shows a soft minerality and the subtle flavor of dried red flower petals.

Conclusion – This is a delicious, juicy and elegant Pinot Noir that excited our tasting panel with its bold fruit, earthen notes and bright acidity. The nose is bold and inviting. The flavors of the wine are natural and representative of the terroir of the Sonoma Coast. With bright red fruit and and softly earthy backbone, this is an excellent food wine. We also enjoyed it all on its own. Enjoy with a garlic rubbed steak or a grilled chicken with spicy BBQ sauce!

Mission Report:


SUBJECT: Leslie Sisneros for Kastania Vineyards

WINE EDUCATION: UC Davis, Viticulture a very long time ago

CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: Haywood Winery, Chateau St. Jean, Rodney Strong, Kendall Jackson (13 Harvests, Varietal Winemaker for KJ Pinot Noir for 8 years). Started my own brand and consulting in 2005.

WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Make wine to please yourself and if some else likes it – great.

WINEMAKER QUOTE: Life is too short to take yourself so seriously.



AGENT RED: Greetings, Leslie Sisneros. We are thrilled to be showing your 07 Kastania Pinot Noir today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.


RED: Was there a specific experience in your life that inspired your love of wine?

LESLIE: I received my Plant Science, Viticulture degree in Davis and during that time of intense learning I fell in love with the whole process of nurturing a vine to produce such a complex and diverse end product as wine.

RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?

LESLIE: I would say Kerry Damskey has always been my mentor and the strong women in the industry have highly influenced me, such as Merry Edwards and Helen Turley.

RED: Who do you make wine for?

LESLIE: I make wine to challenge myself.

RED: Please tell me a little bit about the wine we are featuring today.

LESLIE: This 2007 Kastania Pinot is what I consider to be a classic Sonoma Coast Pinot. It shows bright fresh red berry flavors enhanced by a balanced acidity and soft oak notes. This vintage was also one of the most stellar years for Pinot and Kastania was no exception.

RED: What is your favorite pairing with today’s wine?

LESLIE: This wine always shows well at Thanksgiving Dinner – turkey, yams, cranberry – all the fixins.

RED: In your opinion, what makes the Sonoma Coast, Petaluma Gap so special?

LESLIE: I believe the micro climate in the Petaluma Gap is very unique and the flavor profile from the wines in that particular area have delicate but complex characteristics exhibiting bright natural acidities along with balanced fresh flavors of raspberry and Bing cherry. The fog and wind combined with the soil profiles create conditions that are different to the Russian River Valley, therefore creating wines that are authentically distinct – crisp and elegant.

RED: What is occupying your time at the winery these days?

LESLIE: Blending trials, blending and writing up tasting notes from the previous vintage.

RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?

LESLIE: Pinots are easy drinking, approachable and versatile with just about any food, except maybe Ramen. I like to change up the amount of oak I put into different blends so the consumer may prefer one Pinot over another for the amount of oakiness on the palate, among other things. I always encourage people to give a wine time to breathe – not just five minutes. Sometimes it tastes more complete after 2-3 hours or maybe the next day if it is a new vintage.

RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

LESLIE: I think it is important for the consumer to explore the boutique wineries these days and support the local growers. In these difficult times several small wineries are being taken over by the “big guys” and their diverse flavor profiles previously showcased in their small lots are being diluted into large non-descript blends. The small wineries do not have the resources to promote or advertise as the large wineries so it is up to the consumer to open their minds to new brands and help the boutique premium brands survive and thrive.

RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The location of the Kastania Vineyards winery can be seen in this satellite photo.

What the Winery Says

About This Wine:

This wine generously opens with a fresh cherry vanilla cream nose and just a touch of oak. Inviting notes of plum, Bing cherry and ripe berry flavors are gently enhanced by subtle tannins. Fruit forward characteristics and a bright midpalate contribute to the wine’s approachability now but with an aging potential of 5-7 years.

About The Winery:

We make our wines in small lots from our premium Estate grown grapes. Our Burgundy and Bordeaux varieties are influenced by the vineyard’s distinct terrior and the maritime impact. Our passion is to produce high quality wines . We invite you to enjoy the special occasions in your life with a bottle of our exclusive handcrafted wine.

Kastania Vineyards currently produces only 800-1000 cases of award-winning Sonoma County wines each year. Fermentation is done in open top fermentors, punch downs three times a day, with daily monitoring for brix and temperature until dry. Small basket bladder presses are used, so that only the most desirable flavors are extracted.

Kastania Vineyards is a member of the Petaluma Gap Grape & Wine Alliance, Family Winemakers of California, and The Wine Institute.

The vineyard is home to three grape varietals: Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Our major varietal, Pinot Noir, is planted to three clones: 667,115 and Rochioli. The small lots of Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc were originally intended only for the owners’ personal consumption, but due to the vineyard’s success, these varietals are now available to the public in limited quantities.

Technical Analysis:

Alcohol: 14.6%

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