2005 KISTLER CHARDONNAY
Region: Sonoma Valley, Sonoma County, CA
Kistler Vineyards is a wine producer in northern California's Sonoma County. Its considerable reputation is thanks largely to its robust, buttery Chardonnay wines, which have established Kistler as a cult winery since the 1980s.
The company was founded in 1978 by Steve Kistler and remains a family-owned and operated winery. It is a relatively small producer, making just 35,000 cases annually, much of which is sold through its significant mailing list.
Kistler's focus is the Burgundy varieties, making 10 vineyard-designated Chardonnay wines and four designated Pinot Noir wines. The fruit comes from three AVAs within Sonoma: Sonoma Coast, Sonoma Mountain and Carneros (which overlaps with the Napa Valley AVA).
Kistler is seen as one of the pioneers of the buttery, fruit-driven Chardonnays that have come to be closely associated with California. In the winery, the use of small, new-oak barriques and malolactic fermentation have been used over the years to achieve this style of wine.
Recent trends have seen a move away from this style, however, and Kistler is beginning to experiment with making more restrained styles of the variety.
95-98 points 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. (RP) (12/2006)