An iconic wine from one of the most legendary producers in California. Meticulous detail goes into the farming and winemaking. Fruit is from some of the most highly regarded vineyards in the region, many of which are farmed entirely by Kistler themselves. Current winemaker, Jason Kesner, "apprenticed" with Steve Kistler for 8 years before being handed the reins fully in 2017.
This wine is tremendously complex, with intense aromas of green apple and sea spray, flavors of flint & citrus, and is structured by vibrant acidity. As the wine opens, notes of roasted almonds, pineapple, lemon and butter become more evident. Big, lavish, full-bodied and mouth-watering, this is a true California-style Chardonnay.
One heritage Californian selection of Chardonnay planted across fifteen vineyards, from Carneros to Sonoma Valley, to the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast. From those sites we produce eleven vineyard designate Chardonnays. We are wholly dedicated to the ideal of wines of site. It’s an unparalleled approach in the new world.
Kistler Chardonnays are all made from a proprietary California heritage clone, isolated originally from a grand Cru Burgundy vineyard. 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.
After thoughtful selection at the sorting table, whole clusters are fed by hand directly into the press. An extremely gentle 2-hour Champagne program is used to produce the best juice with the finest solids. The juice is consolidated in tank and then, without cold settling, is transferred directly to barrel with its fine lees. Driven solely by naturally occurring yeasts, the wine is barrel-fermented. Kistler Chardonnay fermentation temperatures are warm by California standards, but very much like Burgundy was made 20 years ago. The wine is fermented bone-dry. After a complete malolactic fermentation, the wine sees 11 months of barrel age with no battonage. The wine spends an additional 3 months in tank before being bottled without fining or filtration.