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Kistler Vineyards Kistler Vineyard Chardonnay 2002

Chardonnay from Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
  • RP96
0% ABV
  • RP98
  • WS93
  • RP97
  • WS92
  • RP95
  • WS91
  • WS91
  • RP93
  • RP96
  • RP98
  • WS90
  • RP98
  • WS93
  • RP96
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0% ABV

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 96
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A profound effort from the dynamic Kistler-Bixler duo is the 2002 Chardonnay Kistler Vineyard. Spectacular ripeness along with a liquid minerality give this large-scaled, bigger than life Chardonnay tremendous balance/equilibrium. This compelling, full-bodied, dense wine offers smoky hazelnut characteristics intermixed with oranges, lemons, tropical fruits, and hints of Grand Marnier as well as caramel. There is a lot going on in this full-bodied, concentrated yet impeccably well-balanced offering.
Range: 94-96
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Kistler Vineyards

Kistler Vineyards

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Kistler Vineyards, Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, California
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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.

Sonoma Valley

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Perhaps the most historically significant appellation in Sonoma County, the Sonoma Valley is home to both Buena Vista winery, California's oldest commercial winery, and Gundlach Bundschu winery, California's oldest family-run winery.

It is also one of the more geologically and climactically diverse districts. The valley includes and overlaps four distinct Sonoma County sub-appellations, including Carneros, Moon Mountain District, Sonoma Mountain and Bennett Valley. With mountains, benchlands, plains, abundant sunshine and the cooling effects of the nearby Pacific, this appellation can successfully produce a wide range of grape varieties. Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, Gewürztraminer, and most notably, Zinfandel all thrive here. Ancient Zinfandel vines over 100 years old produce small crops of concentrated, spicy fruit, which in turn make some of the Valley's most unique wines. These can also be made as “field blends” (wines made from a mix of grape varieties grown in the same vineyard) along with Petite Sirah, Carignan and Alicante Bouschet.

Chardonnay

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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 is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy 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. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

MLNKISTLERKVCH_2002 Item# 125861