Kistler Reviews

Kistler Fall 2019 Release

Kistler Reviews

Vinous, Reviewed by: Antonio Galloni

2017 Chardonnay McCrea Vineyard

Rating: 95

Antonio Galloni, May 2019

The 2017 Chardonnay McCrea Vineyard is superb. Sensual, silky and nuanced, the McCrea is especially fine in 2017. The typical earthy, savory notes that are such signatures of this Sonoma Mountain site are present, but the 2017 also has an extra kick of fruit richness and floral lift that work beautifully in giving the wine an unusual level of complexity. The 2017 McCrea is brilliant and a terrific way to start this tasting.

2017 Chardonnay Durell Vineyard

Rating: 95

Antonio Galloni, May 2019

The 2017 Chardonnay Durell Vineyard is creamy, ample and luscious, all while retaining a distinct element of salinity that give freshness and also a sense of direction. Lemon oil, yellow orchard fruit, white flowers and mint add brightness to a complete and wonderfully alluring Chardonnay that dazzles. In 2017, the Durrell is a wine of real distinction and class.

2017 Chardonnay Stone Flat Vineyard

Rating: 96

Antonio Galloni, May 2019

The 2017 Chardonnay Stone Flat Vineyard emerges from parcels that are now technically in Durell and that are just across the road from the historic core of that site. Interestingly, the two Chardonnays are incredibly different. The Stone Flat Chardonnay is a decidedly richer and more powerful wine. Tangerine, hazelnut, dried flowers, mint and lightly honeyed notes give the Stone Flat a viscous, textured feel that is quite distinctive. Exotic and arresting in its beauty, the Stone Flat is compelling in 2017.

2017 Chardonnay Hudson Vineyard

Rating: 95+

Antonio Galloni, May 2019

Another highlight in this range, the 2017 Chardonnay Hudson Vineyard brings together the natural richness of the year with the delineation and nuance that are the signatures of the best Hudson Chardonnays. Lemon confit, honey, white flowers, mint and light tropical notes abound. In 2017, the Hudson is a bit less reductive than it has been in the recent past, and that, along with the personality of the year, really allows the fruit and textural richness to shine. This is such a gorgeous wine.

2017 Chardonnay Dutton Ranch

Rating: 96

Antonio Galloni, May 2019

A highlight in this lineup, the 2017 Chardonnay Dutton Ranch is such an intriguing wine because of the way it is airy and lifted and yet also so deep in feel. Citrus peel, white flowers, mint and white pepper add striking aromatic top notes to this brilliant, vertically built Chardonnay. In 2017, the Dutton Ranch is all class. It is also one of my personal favorites.

2017 Pinot Noir Laguna Ridge Vineyard

Rating: 96

Antonio Galloni, May 2019

The 2017 Pinot Noir Laguna Ridge is sweet, floral and lifted, all qualities that work beautifully to temper the natural intensity of the year. Succulent red berry, mint, spice, licorice and pomegranate give the Laguna Ridge striking freshness and nuance. Next to the bigger Cuvée Natalie, the Laguna Ridge is brighter, more aromatic and also more restrained, although, it, too, is certainty not lacking in intensity. Laguna Ridge is the only site in this range from which Kistler makes both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.

Reviewed by: Jeb Dunnuck

2017 Chardonnay McCrea

Rating: 96

Jeb Dunnuck, June 14, 2019

Coming from marine sediments and volcanic soils on Sonoma Mountain, the 2017 Chardonnay McCrea offers a brilliant, white flower and orchard fruit-driven profile that slowly shows more brioche and honeysuckle with time in the glass. It’s beautifully textured, with good acidity and a great finish. Drink this complete, impeccably balanced Chardonnay over the coming decade or more.

2017 Chardonnay Durell

Rating: 96

Jeb Dunnuck, June 14, 2019

In the same ballpark, the 2017 Chardonnay Durell comes from a Sonoma Coast site and is a richer, fuller Chardonnay that offers lots of lemon curd, pineapple, and some orchard fruits as well as a kiss of smoky minerality. Medium-bodied, nicely textured, and beautifully balanced, the wine builds with time in the glass, displaying a beautiful mid-palate and a great finish. While it’s one of the richer wines in the lineup, it’s firmly in the new, racy, crisp style of the estate.

2017 Chardonnay Stone Flat Vineyard

Rating: 95

Jeb Dunnuck, June 14, 2019

The 2017 Chardonnay Stone Flat Vineyard comes from the Durell Vineyard as well but is from a selection of only 420a rootstock, which results in a slightly lower pH as well as slightly better yields. It’s not far off the Durell Vineyard and offers impressive caramelized citrus, white flowers, brioche, and pineapple. It’s fresh, vibrant, and ethereal, and has a great finish.

2017 Chardonnay Hudson Vineyard

Rating: 95

Jeb Dunnuck, June 14, 2019

Also from Carneros, the 2017 Chardonnay Hudson Vineyard comes from the original E block spanning 9 acres and vines planted in the early 1990s. It’s one of the more masculine wines, offering tons of salinity and rocky minerality as well as notes of orchard fruits, pineapple, iodine, and crushed flowers. With bright acidity, medium to full body, and a great finish, it’s going to be better with a year in bottle and keep for another decade.

2017 Chardonnay Dutton Ranch

Rating: 97

Jeb Dunnuck, June 14, 2019

I loved the 2017 Chardonnay Dutton Ranch. This Russian River site has turned out a textbook Chardonnay that offers tons of stone and orchard fruits, white flowers, and a kiss of salty minerality. It’s beautifully balanced on the palate, has high yet integrated acidity, a terrific sense of elegance, and is another release from this team that’s impossible to fault. As with most of these releases, I suspect a year of bottle age will do it well.

2017 Pinot Noir Laguna Ridge Vineyard

Rating: 95

Jeb Dunnuck, June 14, 2019

Deep ruby colored, the 2017 Pinot Noir Laguna Ridge Vineyard is another complex 2017 and has loads of cassis, blood orange, red plum, and spice aromas and flavors. It too is medium-bodied, racy, vibrant and elegant, yet has beautiful depth of fruit. It’s approachable today and will keep for upwards of a decade or more given its balance and purity.

Past Reviews:

Wine Advocate, Reviewed by: Lisa Perrotti-Brown

2016 Chardonnay Hudson Vineyard

Rating: 94+

Lisa Perrotti-Brown, June 29, 2018

The 2016 Chardonnay Hudson Vineyard is slightly subdued at this early stage, offering up subtle notes of green guava, lemon tart, fresh Bosc pears and baker’s yeast with touches of coriander seed, lanolin and lime leaves. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has an almost electric intensity of tightly wound flavors with a racy line and long, satin-textured finish.

2016 Chardonnay Dutton Ranch

Rating: 95

Lisa Perrotti-Brown, June 29, 2018

The 2016 Chardonnay Dutton Ranch leaps from the glass with exuberant ripe apricots, pink grapefruit and lemon meringue pie notes with hints of lime cordial, honeysuckle and fennel seed plus a waft of almond croissant. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is beautifully elegant with bags of energy and compelling freshness, finishing long and yeasty.

2016 Chardonnay McCrea Vineyard

Rating: 93+

Lisa Perrotti-Brown, June 29, 2018

The 2016 Chardonnay McCrea Vineyard offers up gorgeous notions of ripe peaches, honeyed toast, grapefruit and orange blossoms with touches of ginger and marzipan. Medium to full-bodied, it has a lovely satiny texture and tons of stone fruit and savory layers with a good, long spice-laced finish.

2016 Chardonnay Stone Flat Vineyard

Rating: 95

The 2016 Chardonnay Stone Flat Vineyard sings of fresh white peaches, lime blossoms and honeycomb with touches of almond croissant and crushed rocks and then, with coaxing, reveals subtler lemongrass and mandarin peel scents and powdered ginger hints. Medium to full-bodied, it fills the palate with vibrant citrus and spice layers, supported by a solid line of freshness and finishing wonderfully minerally. Reviewed by: Lisa Perrotti-Brown  29th Jun 2018

2016 Chardonnay Durell Vineyard

Rating: 94

Lisa Perrotti-Brown, June 29, 2018

Slightly closed at this youthful stage, the 2016 Chardonnay Durell Vineyard slowly unfurls to reveal pineapple, pink grapefruit and lemon curd scents with underlying notions of baking bread, chopped almonds, chalk dust and allspice. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is beautifully poised between intense tropical and citrus flavors and fantastic tension, featuring a long, silken-textured finish.

2016 Pinot Noir Laguna Ridge Vineyard

Rating: 94+

Lisa Perrotti-Brown, June 29, 2018

Medium to deep ruby-purple in color, the 2016 Pinot Noir Laguna Ridge Vineyard opens a little shy and broody, giving way to decadent black raspberry, wild blueberries and mulberries scents with wafts of forest floor, fungi and black pepper. Medium to full-bodied and firmly framed by ripe, velvety tannins and tons of freshness, it has concentrated black and blue berry layers and a long, earthy finish.

Reviewed by: Jeb Dunnuck

2016 Chardonnay Hudson Vineyard

Rating:  94+

Jeb Dunnuck, June 5, 2018

One of the more masculine, mineral-laced releases, the 2016 Chardonnay Hudson Vineyard comes from a terrific site in Carneros. Lots of spiced orchard fruits, apple blossom, crushed rocks and a salty, oyster shell-like character give way to a medium-bodied, rich, concentrated effort that’s only hinting at its ultimate potential today. Give it 2-3 years and enjoy over the following decade or more.

2016 Chardonnay Dutton Ranch

Rating:  96

Jeb Dunnuck, June 5, 2018

The 2016 Chardonnay Dutton Ranch comes from a well-known Russian River vineyard. Brioche, apple blossom, and white flower notes all emerge from this textbook Russian River Chardonnay. It has tons of ripe, classic orchard fruits, good acidity, and a layered, ripe texture. It also has brilliant purity of fruit.

2016 Chardonnay McCrea Vineyard

Rating:  93+

Jeb Dunnuck, June 5, 2018

From a site in the Sonoma Mountains, the 2016 Chardonnay McCrea is an elegant, racy at times, Chardonnay that has building minerality in its white flowers, brioche, and citrus-driven bouquet. It a brilliant, mouthwatering effort that’s going to put on weight with time in bottle.

2016 Chardonnay Stone Flat Vineyard

Rating:  94+

Jeb Dunnuck, June 5, 2018

Sourced all from the Durrell Vineyard, yet from a single block and clone, the 2016 Chardonnay Stone Flat Vineyard is closed and tight at present, yet has incredibly clean citrus, white flowers, and crushed rock nuances. With medium body, racy acidity, yet gorgeous balance and purity, give bottles 2-3 years and it will keep for a decade or more.

2016 Chardonnay Durell Vineyard

Rating: 94+

Jeb Dunnuck, June 5, 2018

Sourced all from the Durrell Vineyard, yet from a single block and clone, the 2016 Chardonnay Stone Flat Vineyard is closed and tight at present, yet has incredibly clean citrus, white flowers, and crushed rock nuances. With medium body, racy acidity, yet gorgeous balance and purity, give bottles 2-3 years and it will keep for a decade or more.

2016 Pinot Noir Laguna Ridge Vineyard

Rating: 95+

Jeb Dunnuck, June 5, 2018

From sandy loam soils and all Calera clone, the 2016 Pinot Noir Laguna Ridge Vineyard is terrific but is going to reward short-term cellaring. Bing cherry, black raspberry, cassis, and smoked earth/charcoal notes all emerge from this medium-bodied, fresh, tight, backward 2016 that has beautiful concentration and depth. Hide bottles for 3-4 years at a minimum.