2014 Kistler Chardonnay Kistler Vineyard

Year: 2014
Appellation: Sonoma Valley
Country: USA - California
Wine Advocate: 98+
Vinous Media: 95
White Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 14.1%
Price :

"The 2014 Chardonnay Kistler Vineyard has very pretty white grapefruit, lemon curd and white peach notes over nuances of honeysuckle, allspice and baker’s yeast plus a touch of chalk dust. Full-bodied and packed with finesse, the rich, concentrated citrus and stone fruit flavors are beautifully marked by crisp acidity and it finishes with loads of mineral layers.

Kistler Vineyards remains one of the absolute benchmark producers of great Sonoma Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, sitting right up there with the highest quality examples of these grapes from throughout the world. While the wines come from as wide a range of top terroirs as Sonoma can provide, interestingly nearly all of the Chardonnays are produced from a proprietary selection of Wente clones taken from a Larry Hyde block in the early 1980s. The exception is the Kistler Vineyard, which contains some original Martin Ray Mount Eden clonal material. This can be found in the straight Kistler Vineyard Chardonnay bottling, as opposed to the Cuvee Cathleen, which is mainly Wente selection. All the vineyard-designate Chardonnays are produced in precisely the same manner, meaning the differences between them are almost exclusively down to the differences in terroir. And as readers will see from my notes, the differences are striking.

Now the bad news – I tasted mainly wines from the 2014 vintage for this report, where, despite it being a drought year, yields were pretty much average. In 2015 and 2016, poor flowering meant that yields were hit dramatically for Kistler, down 25-30% in 2015 and as much as 40% in 2016." (WA)

"The 2014 Chardonnay Kistler Vineyard shows plenty of its typically deep, phenolic structure. Graphite, candied lemon, mint and sage gradually open up in the glass, with veins of underlying salinity that add brightness throughout. These red volcanic soils in this Moon Mountain side yield a very distinctive Chardonnay. The 2014 is perhaps not as intense as some other vintages, but in exchange it will drink well young." (VM)

Winery Notes:
Green-tinged pale yellow. Attractive aromas of spring flowers, stone fruits, and crushed rock. Wonderfully intense, and yet light on its feet. Finishes long and aromatic, with a lovely perfume which is the hallmark of this dry-farmed vineyard located high in the Mayacamas Mountains.