Kistler Vineyards appears frequently on lists of the finest Chardonnay produced in America or anywhere else. That Kistler’s Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are world-class is no news to those who have been enjoying wines made by the Sebastopol-based family operation since the 1970’s. Their dedication to featuring the unique location and micro-climate of individual vineyards results in wines that are a pleasure to sip.
I was fortunate enough to pull a cork recently from the 2014 Kistler Vineyards Chardonnay pictured here. Sourced from Hudson Vineyard in the Los Carneros AVA that spans southern Sonoma County and Napa Valley (see map below), the wine has all the best traits of a French white Burgundy refined with California wine making sensibilities. Swirl it in the glass and you’ll get a nose of light fruits – peach, apple and a little mint with a hint of oak. Take a sip and the wine continues down the same road, refreshing while full bodied enough to serve alongside any meal that pairs well with Chardonnay. Alcohol is 14.1%. Ratings for this vintage are typically in the mid 90’s. My score: 95. Prices for most Kistler Chardonnays are +/- $90.
Getting your hands on Kistler wines isn’t always easy. I recommend getting on the email list (visit their web site: Kistler Vineyards) and sign up to receive allocations from each release. You can also visit Kistler and taste (by appointment only).