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Kistler Now Top-Priced Cali Pinot

Kistler has just released two Sonoma Coast Pinot Noirs to mailing list customers, the 2005 Kistler Occidental Station Cuvée Catherine Pinot Noir ($90) and the 2005 Kistler Bodega Headlands Cuvée Elizabeth Pinot Noir ($120). Total production is only 1250 cases. The Bodega Headlands bottling was awarded a score of 99 by Robert Parker, Jr., and I am sure the wine will show up on auction sites for well over $300 a bottle. Is it worth it? Well, the 2004 Kistler Bodega Headlands Cuvée Elizabeth received a score of 94/95 from Parker, while the burghound Alan Meadows gave the same wine a score of 86, sighting the lack of texture “that is anything but elegant.” Here is a perfect example of the fact that scores are the patrimony of the beholder and can vary wildly between tasters. If you are hung up on scores, pick your wine guru and go with it. If you are comfortable with your own palate, read with interest and then move on, perhaps exploring the many delightful Pinot Noirs that are available for ¼ the price.

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