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Kistler Vineyards Vine Hill Chardonnay 2002

Chardonnay from Russian River, Sonoma County, California
  • RP95
0% ABV
  • RP96
  • WS93
  • RP95
  • WS92
  • RP95
  • WS91
  • WS91
  • RP96
  • WS94
  • RP96
  • WS93
  • RP96
  • WS92
  • RP98
  • WS90
  • RP95
  • WS92
  • RP91
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Winemaker Notes

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.

Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
A spectacular offering, the 2002 Chardonnay Vine Hill Vineyard (adjacent to the Kistler winery) tastes like a California version of a great Batard-Montrachet. This dense, rich, layered, multidimensional Chardonnay builds incrementally in the mouth to reveal leesy notes intermixed with liquid minerals, lemon rind, citrus oils, and orange marmalade. Like its siblings, it reveals subtle oak notes along with great purity, tremendous palate presence, full body, and a majestic style. However, patience will be required.
Range: 92-95
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Kistler Vineyards

Kistler Vineyards

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Kistler Vineyards, Russian River, 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.

Russian River

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A standout region for its decidedly Californian take on Burgundian varieties, the Russian River Valley is named for the eponymous river that flows through it. While there are warm pockets of the AVA, it is mostly a cool-climate growing region thanks to breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean.

Chardonnay and Pinot Noir reign supreme in Russian River, with the best examples demonstrating a unique combination of richness and restraint. The cool weather makes Russian River an ideal AVA for sparkling wine production, utilizing the aforementioned varieties. Zinfandel also performs exceptionally well here. Within the Russian River Valley lie the smaller appellations of Chalk Hill and Green Valley. The former, farther from the ocean, is relatively warm, with a focus on red and white Bordeaux varieties. The latter is the coolest, foggiest parcel of the Russian River Valley and is responsible for outstanding Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

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.

MLNKISTLERVHCH_2002 Item# 123874