Kistler Vineyards Vine Hill Chardonnay 2009
Chardonnay from Russian River, California
Produced since 1991. The vineyard that surrounds the winery. 23 year old 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.
International Wine Cellar - "Vivid gold. Lively, mineral-dominated aromas of candied citrus fruits, pear and ginger, with a smoky nuance building with air. Rich and expansive but very dry, offering palate-staining orange and pear skin flavors lifted by vibrant mineral and floral notes. Closes with excellent clarity and cut; there's zero excess fat here."
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "The 2009 Chardonnay Vine Hill Vineyard comes across a bit inward and less expressive than the other wines in the collection. Scents of lemon, almonds and pastry emerge from the glass. The overall impression is of a small-scaled wine that, while quite pretty, lacks the visceral thrill of the top wines here. Anticipated maturity: 2012-2019. "
Wine Spectator - "One of the most understated and delicate of the new Kistlers, this displays wildflower, subtle peach and mineral flavors that are dialed back without sacrificing depth and persistence. Drink now through 2019."
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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 Vineyards 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.