Kistler Vine Hill Chardonnay 2004
Chardonnay from Russian River, California
Produced since 1991. The vineyard that surrounds the winery. This is dry farmed Chardonnay grown in a deep, sandy subset of the Gold Ridge soil series that seemingly has no bottom. The vines mine the nutrient poor sands to produce a wine of unparalleled energy and verve. One of our perennial favorites due to its resounding natural acids and low pH which strike a perfect balance with the stone fruit body and notes of toasted hazelnut.
The Wine Advocate - "Hints of ripe pears, lemon butter, tangerines, and crushed rocks emerge from the 2004 Chardonnay Vine Hill Vineyard, an elegant yet authoritatively flavored effort with a striking minerality, zesty acidity, and a spectacular finish. The good news is that there are 2,700 cases of this cuvee.
Wine Spectator - "Complex, with a roasted marshmallow edge from toasty oak. There's a medium-bodied mix underneath of sleek citrus-infused pear, anise, melon and hazelnut flavors that linger and turn elegant."
International Wine Cellar - "Green-gold. Ripe, lush scents of poached pear, yellow apple and peach, with a strong stony overlay. Bright and precise, with energetic stone fruit flavors and a building mineral impression. Very energetic on the finish, picking up hints of quinine and jasmine."
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Founded in 1978, Kistler Vineyards is a small, family-owned and operated winery specializing in the production of Burgundian style Chardonnay and limited amounts of Pinot Noir. Grapes are estate grown and purchased from vineyards in Sonoma County. In 1992, Kistler Vineyards moved all production to its Vine Hill Road Vineyard in the Russian River Valley. View all Kistler Wines
About Russian RiverView a map of Russian River wineries
The Russian River Valley is named as such due to its proximity to the Russian River, the river itself named for the Russian fur traders who came down from Alaska in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The Russian River is agricultural land. While there is a focus on wine, beyond the vineyards are many small, family-owned farms cultivating everything from cattle to Christmas trees.
Notable FactsThe proximity of this cool river and the rolling fogs from the Pacific Ocean make the area amenable to cool-climate grapes like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In fact, the region is quite known for its full-bodied, yet elegant Pinot Noir, as well as their ripe, yet lean Chardonnays. Within Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. Chalk Hill is the warmer of the two and furthest from the ocean, while Green Valley is cooler and closer to the water.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
- Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
- Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
- Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.