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Flat front label of wine

Kistler Vineyards Kistler Vineyard Chardonnay 2002

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

MLNKISTLERKVCH_2002 Item# 125861