Kistler Vineyard Cellars Winery is a small, family-owned and -operated winery in the Russian River Valley specializing in the production of Burgundian-styled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir and a limited amount of Cabernet Sauvignon. Kistler Vineyards was founded in 1978 by the Kistler family. The first vintage in 1979 produced 3,500 cases of wine and since then the winery has slowly grown to the planned production level of 18,000 cases per year. Kistler Vineyards has two central figures, Steve Kistler and Mark Biller. Steve Kistler received a B. A. from Stanford University, studied at U. C. Dews and Fresno State University for two yearly and was an assistant at Ridge Vineyards for two years before founding Kistler Vineyards. He serves as wine maker and oversees vineyard operations. Mark Bixler received degrees from M. I. T. and U. C. Berkeley, taught Chemistry at Fresno State University for seven years and worked at Fetzer vineyards for two years. Mark shares wine making responsibilities, and is the chemist and business manager for Kist1er vineyards. After years of planning, we completed construction of our new winery at our fine Hill Road vineyard in the summer of 1992. The facility is state of the art, optimized for the production of limited quantities of the very highest quality Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Kistler Chardonnay is made using traditional French techniques, with the winemaker himself performing the cellar work on the wines. Kistler Chardonnay has a distinct character. It is completely barrel-fermented using indigenous and cultured yeasts, is aged in 50% new French oak barrel unracked and in contact with all its fermentation lees has undergone a malolactic fermentation, receives minimal handling and processing, and is bottled unfiltered and, if clarity permits, unfined after 11-18 months of barrel age. Our low-yielding (less than two tons per acre), dry farmed pinot noir vineyard in the Russian River Valley contains a mixture of clones from French and American sources. The Pinot Noir is made with an initial extended cold maceration of the grapes with their juice (for the extraction of concentrated flavors without tannin), followed by an ultra traditional fermentation (including 50-100% of the stems). Total cuvaison time is up to four weeks and the wine is aged in 100% new French oak barrels for 18 months before being bottled unfined and unfiltered. Kistler Vineyards / 4707 Vine Hill Road / Sebastopol, CA 95472
Kistler Vineyard Cellars Winery 2001 Les Noisetiers Chardonnay
Classic aromas reminiscent of a fine Chassagne Montrachet from France featuring slate, minerals, and roasted grains. Flavors of orange marmelade , citrus fruit, white peaches and subtle oaky notes meld together for a sublime experience that will age gracefully for the next 5 - 7 years. Ever since a 1999 Wine Spectator magazine cover story proclaimed Kistler Chardonnay 'America's favorite wine' each bottle has become a highly-sought-after 'cult' item among America's collector 'crowd. Classic aromas of pears and the perfect balance of oak burst forth on this pristine Chardonnay with pleasant minerals and spice on the powerful nose. This extremely well balanced, silky smooth wine shows vibrant mangos and tropical papaya and guava flavors while a hint of ginger and honey linger throughout the sublime finish. This wine is reminiscent of creme brulee now and will age gracefully for the next 5 to 7 years! Extremely limited quantities available.
The 2000 Chardonnay McCrea Vineyard is a crisp, lemony, zesty effort with hints of lemon butter, grapefruit, and assorted citrus characteristics. The wine possesses high acid, subtle wood notes, and a 1996 Burgundy-like style. It will age for 5-6 years. For readers seeking opulence, flesh, and luxurious fruit, this wine will always play it close to the vest, although its striking minerality is impressive.
Additional Kistler Wines in stock at the Saratoga Wine Exchange: