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Kistler Vineyards Kistler Vineyard Chardonnay (torn labels) 2005

Chardonnay from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
  • RP98
  • WS93
0% ABV
  • RP98
  • WS93
  • RP97
  • WS92
  • V96
  • WS91
  • RP93
  • RP96
  • RP98
  • V94
  • WS90
  • RP96
  • RP96
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Winemaker Notes

Produced since 1986. Just shy of 1800 feet in elevation, in a small bowl on the western edge of the Mayacama mountains lies the original Kistler planting. Thirty year old vines grow dry farmed in deep red volcanic ash, producing a wine with an intense sense of the mountain heritage of the delicate stone fruit that is lifted, like its McCrea cousin, yet firmer, and with a stronger core and added layers of richness.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 98
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2005 Chardonnay Kistler Vineyard possesses honeysuckle, tangerine, and orange blossom characteristics along with great acidity, plenty of minerality, a greenish hue to its light gold color, and fabulous texture, length, and richness. I suspect there is more honeysuckle in this offering than in some of its peers, but it is flirting with perfection ... it’s that compelling.
Range: 95-98
WS 93
Wine Spectator
Rich without being overblown, with smoky, toasty oak joining ripe pear, melon, citrus, honeysuckle, mineral and fig flavors that are notably elegant and refined, keeping a tight focus and ending with a lingering aftertaste.
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Kistler Vineyards

Kistler Vineyards

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Kistler Vineyards, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
2005 Kistler Vineyard Chardonnay (torn labels)
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.

Sonoma Valley

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Perhaps the most historically significant appellation in Sonoma County, the Sonoma Valley AVA was first planted with vines by Franciscan monks in 1823. It was the site of one of California’s first successful commercial wineries, and the region where French oak barrels were first utilized for aging California wines, thus creating the rich and voluptuous style of Chardonnay the state has become known for.

This geologically and climactically diverse district is capable of producing a wide variety of wines, including Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gewürztraminer, and, most notably, Zinfandel, where ancient vines over 100 years old produce small crops of concentrated, spicy fruit. These are commonly produced as “field blends” along with Petite Sirah, Carignan, and other dark-fruited varieties.


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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

KHM125857_2005 Item# 125857