Follow The Prince
twitter icon rss icon

Black Kite Cellars

Owner(s) Donald Green, Rebecca Green, Rebecca Green Birdsall
Web site www.blackkitecellars.com
 
Link to this site
Black Kite Cellars

This family-owned producer is named for the beautiful but endangered Black Shouldered Kite that is native to the Anderson Valley. These incredible hawks are indigenous to the Anderson Valley and can frequently be seen circling the skies over the Black Kite Vineyard. They have penetrating red eyes which are prominently portrayed on the beautiful label.

The 12-acre Pinot Noir vineyard, planted in 1999, is in a cool portion of the Anderson Valley (the "deep-end") only eight miles from the Pacific Ocean. The Pinot Noir lineup includes about 900 cases of a vineyard-designate (Kite's Rest) and three block-designate wines (Redwood's Edge, Stony Terrace, River Turn) from the estate vineyard (you can purchase a four-pack of each of the wines on the website). A newcomer that has burst on the scene with outstanding wines. The winemaker since 2005 is veteran Jeff Gaffner and the viticulturalist is Paul Ardzrooni, experienced in Anderson Valley vineyards.

The wines are sold primarily through a mailing list and the winery website, with limited distribution to restaurants and retailers.

Reviewed Wines

2011 Black Kite Kite’s Rest Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.57, 953 cases, $45. Aged 11 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Nicely scented with aromas of cherry, ripe strawberry and spice rub. Mid weight tasty cherry core with undertones of strawberry and spice. Refined, elegant and on the lighter side in this vintage. Appealing for its crisp, juicy presence and finish. Holds up nicely over time in the glass. Score: 91. Reviewed December 18, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Black Kite Cellars Redwood’s Edge Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

13.8% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.55, 149 cases, $55. Aged 11 months in 66% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish purple color in the glass. Very expressive nose that expands over time in the glass. Aromas of black cherry, spice box and clove. Very stylish with mid weight flavors of black cherry and black raspberry with complimentary oak in the background. The overall impression is juiciness of fruit with a pleasing savory, earthy bent. The wine is the most brooding of the 2011 lineup and should benefit from more time in bottle to allow the firm tannins and oak to integrate. Better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Could prove to be the best wine of the three reviewed here over time. Score: 91. Reviewed February 4, 2014 ARTICLE »

2011 Black Kite Cellars River Turn Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.55, 148 cases, $55. Aged 11 months in 66% new French oak barrels. · Moderate reddish purple hue in the glass. Be sure you are sitting down when you taste this charmer. The aromas leap out of the glass with purpose, offering scents of black cherry, black raspberry, Asian 5-spice and a hint of oak. The most sappy and forward of the three 2011 Pinots tasted here. Flat-out delicious with layers of flavor including black cherry liquor, black raspberry jam, and Hoison sauce. The fine-grain tannins are svelte, the balancing acidity is spot on, and the finish is filled with sweet-scented and saucy fruit. The finish is even more intense and persistence the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Log on to deliciouspinot.com for a good time. Score: 94. Reviewed February 4, 2014 ARTICLE »

2011 Black Kite Cellars Stony Terrace Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.56, 203 cases, $55. Aged 11 months in 66% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish purple color in the glass. The aromas are slow to arrive in the glass, becoming spectacular the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Very ripe, dark red and black fruits are featured, especially black raspberry, with hints of spice, dark chocolate and black currant. The tannins are modest, the acidity is bright and uplifting, and the special finish is vigorous with flavor and character. This wine will benefit from decanting or cellaring for a few years. Score: 93. Reviewed February 4, 2014 ARTICLE »

2011 Black Kite Soberanes Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., pH 3.70, TA 0.55, 273 cases, $55. Aged 11 months in 50% new French oak barrels. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Muted aromas of black fruits, cooked beets, and floral perfume. Extravagantly rich with intense flavors of black raspberry, blackberry and black plum. A little earthy and beefy in character. Silky on the palate with balanced dry tannins and modest length on the dry finish. Solid, but not exciting now, and should benefit from further time in bottle. Score: 88. Reviewed December 18, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Black Kite Cellars Kite’s Rest Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.66, 541 cases, $45. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Intense aromas of fresh black cherries with a hint of cardamom spice. Mid weight flavors of black cherries backed by balanced fine-grain tannins, offering some length on the bright finish. A suave mouth feel adds to the pleasure. Very good. Reviewed February 4, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Black Kite Cellars Redwoods Edge Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.67, 149 cases, $55. · Medium reddish-purple hue in the glass. Charming perfume of black cherries, blackberries and wooded forest, penetrating and possessing staying power over time in the glass. Bigger, riper, more structured, and more intense than the estate vineyard bottling yet still crisp and lively offering an enticing velvety texture and a monumental finish flush with fresh berry flavor that will not let go. Reviewed February 4, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Black Kite Cellars River Turn Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., phj 3.60, TA 0.61, 150 cases, $55. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Lovely aromas of cherry pie glaze, baking spice and sandalwood. This wine is all about spicy, red pie cherries. Supple tannins, bright acidity, and good length on the finish. A very pleasing red fruit festival that is the most feminine wine in the lineup and the epitome of pinotosity. Reviewed February 4, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Black Kite Cellars Soberanes Vineyard Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.60, 149 cases, $55. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Alluring aromas of dark cherries and dark berry jam with a hint of mesquite. A delight to drink with middleweight flavors of black cherries in harmony with supple tannins and complimentary acidity. The soft mouth feel is captivating. This wine lacks the vibrancy of the Black Kite Anderson Valley bottlings but is very typical of the Santa Lucia Highlands and is quite charming in its own right. Very good. Reviewed February 4, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Black Kite Cellars Stony Terrace Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.66, 153 cases, $55. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is very pleasing initially, offering scents of dark fruits, soy, sassafras, forest floor and cedary oak. Tasty core of red cherries and berries with a note of pine in the background. Crisp, with tame tannins, a touch of classy oak, and some length on the finish. Even better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Very good (+). Reviewed February 4, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Black Kite Angel Hawk Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.61, 114 cases, $80. The best and most age worthy barrels from the 2010 vintage. Aged 20 months in 100% new French oak barrels. · Moderately dark reddish-purple robe in the glass. Complex and expressive nose featuring aromas of black cherry, blackberry, anise, cardamom, wine cave and toasty oak. Much riper than the 2011 release, big and rich but not overwrought, with juicy flavors of darker cherries and berries with inflections of cola, oak and spice. Impressive mid palate concentration, structural backbone and finishing power. A luxurious wine that will appeal to lovers of this hedonistic style of Pinot Noir. Because of the ripeness, a bit of heat shows up on the finish. Score: 90. Reviewed December 18, 2013 ARTICLE »

2009 Black Kite Kite’s Rest Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., pH 3.60, VA 0.59, 1,000 cases, $42. The Green family owns the 12-acre Kite’s Rest Vineyard in Anderson Valley’s Deep End, farmed under the direction of noted viticulturist, Paul Ardzrooni. The winemaker is veteran Jeff Gaffner. A blend of the 3 4-acre blocks in the vineyard. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Very attractive scents of fresh cherries and red plums with more subtle accents of Spanish spices, dried rose petals and brewed coffee. A real lip-smacker with juicy spiced plum flavor and notes of tea leaves, clove and oak. The mid-palate is rich, round and mature with plenty of vim on the crisp, long finish. A very harmonious wine that will age beautifully and one to savor over a meal with good friends. Reviewed April 11, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Black Kite “River Turn Block” Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.59, 160 cases, $52. Aged 11 months in 66% new and 33% 1-year-old French oak barrels. Decanting for two hours or hold for 5-7 years is recommended. · Moderate reddish-purple color in the glass. Brooding nose with shy aromas of dark cherries and berries, lumber yard and oak. Big-boned, fruit-driven and earthy with an elegant personality despite the rich fruit core. The velvety mouth feel is very seductive. Only hinting at its potential now. Much better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. Give this wine a few years in the cellar. Very good. Reviewed July 1, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Black Kite “Stony Terrace Block” Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.9% alc., pH 3.60, TA 0.59, 230 cases, $52. · Moderate reddish-purple hue in the glass. The aromas really grab your attention and pick up interest in the glass over time revealing notes of black cherries, raspberry syrup, wood spice, and wooded forest. Tasty core of black cherries, blackberries, sassafras, and faint oak highlights. Soft and creamy on the palate with ripe black cherry flavor persisting forever on the noteworthy finish. A special wine, which despite its hefty alcohol, manages to stay in balance and offers immense pleasure. Should be a respectable short term age worthy candidate. Reviewed July 1, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Black Kite Angel Hawk Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.6% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.58, 100 cases, $75. A reserve wine from Kite’s Rest Vineyard aged 20 months in 100% new French oak and 7 months in bottle. · Deep, dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Very fragrant, offering a perfume of ripe plums, blueberries, Moroccan spices, oak and sweet pipe smoke. Bigshouldered and richly endowed with spiced dark stone fruits backed by wellproportioned firm tannins and toasty oak, offering a creamy texture, and finishing with impressive length. Tasted the next day from a previously opened and recorked bottle, the wine was still burly and flashy with plenty of oak and tannin. Very California at heart and seductive for those who relish this style. Very good. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2009 Black Kite Cellars Angel Hawk Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., pH 3.50, TA 0.58, 109 cases, $75, released winter 2012. A reserve bottling from Kite’s Rest Vineyard produced only in select vintages. “Angel Hawk” is the colloquial name of the Black Shouldered Kite, for which the winery is named. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of Angel Hawk are donated to the Golden Gate Raptor Conservancy. Aged 20 months in 100% new French oak barrels. · Medium reddish-purple hue in the glass. Enticing aromas of black cherries, plum, exotic spices, oak and rose petals. An attention grabbing core of delicious black cherry fruit with subtle notes of spice and oak. Creamy on the palate with extraordinary length. A hedonist’s Pinot that will attract many fans. My only nit is the high alcohol which peaks out when the wine warms in the glass. Very good. Reviewed June 24, 2012 ARTICLE »

2008 Black Kite Kite’s Rest Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., 883 cases, $42. A blend of Redwood’s Edge and Stony Terrace vineyard blocks from the estate 12-acre vineyard in Anderson Valley’s deep end. Clonal mix is Dijon 114, 115 and Pommard. · Noticeable cigar ash aromas overshadow the fruit. Heavy sweet smoke flavor obscures the ripe fruit core. Could not get past a sip or two. Unsatisfactory. Reviewed June 8, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 Black Kite Stony Terrace Block Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., pH 3.60, 148 cases, $52. Released in the spring of 2010. Aged 11 months in oak. Winemaker Jeff Gaffner. · Moderately deep reddish-purple color in the glass. Aromas of black cherries, smoke and ash. Very pretty black raspberry and cherry fruit overshadowed by ash. Discreetly rich with fine grain tannins and a hint of heat on the finish. Some may find this wine to their liking if they prefer heavily toasted oak. Decent but hard to tout at this price. Reviewed June 8, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 Black Kite Stony Terrace Block Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., pH 3.60, 148 cases, $52. Released in the spring of 2010. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Dark fruited aromas and flavors with a grilled, charred wood and smoke character. Nicely composed with a rich dark berry and cherry core that sadly can’t find proper expression. Decent. Reviewed June 8, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Black Kite Cellars Kite’s Rest Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., 726 cases, $42. · A shy but perfume of darker fruits, oak and a whiff of alcohol. Discreet and tasty black raspberry, strawberry, chocolate and oak flavors wrapped around supple tannins with a dry and fruity finish. Not quite as good as the 2006 vintage, but very commendable. Tasted three times on separate occasions with consistent results. Reviewed May 26, 2009 ARTICLE »

StmlImage: invalid literal for int() with base 10: '07_18-30_fb_thumb.jpg'
[[image ]]

2007 Black Kite Cellars River Turn Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.8% alc., 195 cases, $52. Released in May, 2009. · Very pretty black cherry robe. Exotically perfumed with wild berries, black cherries, herbs and grass. Perfect balance of ripe raspberry and blackberry fruit, vibrant acidity and refined tannins. The mouth feel is soft and gentle with an endless finish that holds on tight for what seems an eternity. Is there an app for this? Reviewed May 26, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Black Kite Kite’s Rest Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.76% alc., <500 cases, $38. · This wine draws you in with terrific black cherry, dark chocolate and spicy oak scents. Richly layered with dark fruits including plum with a nice sidecar of oak. Velvety in texture, clean, and beautifully composed. This one captures both the power and finesse of Pinot Noir. Everything you could want and some things you didn’t know to ask for. Flat out terrific. Reviewed June 9, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 Black Kite Cellars River Turn Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

$48. Four Pinot Noirs are offered from the Black Kite Estate Vineyard in the cool deep-end of the Anderson Valley. The talented winemaker is Jeff Gaffner (left) and the viticulturalist is Paul Ardzrooni (right). The Kite’s Rest bottling was favorably reviewed in PinotFile, Volume 6, Issue 60. Three other bottlings are from special blocks in the vineyard (River Turn, Stony Terrace, and Redwood’s Edge). I found the River Turn the most approachable now of the block-designate Pinot Noirs. · Like the Kite’s Rest, it offers flashy and showy dark red fruits, mouthwatering acidity, and a lingering aromatic finish. I wrote excellent with an exclamation point. Reviewed July 7, 2008 ARTICLE »

2005 Black Kite Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.7% alc., 289 cases, $35. · The darkest Pinot in the tasting. The nose is rich with crushed blackberries, a little game and sweet oak. This is an “in-your-face” wine which is BIG. Generous and fruity rather than classy or complex. Reviewed June 3, 2007 ARTICLE »