Vinous Media 92-94
"Pretty and open-knit, the 2013 Chardonnay McCrea Vineyard graces the palate with a lovely sense of understatement. Rich yellow stone fruits take on light tropical and honeyed inflections in the glass. Rich, voluptuous yet quintessentially medium in body, the 2013 should drink well with minimal cellaring. -- Antonio Galloni"
Produced since 1988. Located on the eastern flank of Sonoma Mountain where redwoods still thrive in a very rare for the area mix of Sonoma volcanics and limestone. Produces one of our more elegant wines, Chablis like in its markings of white flowers and lime blossom with a chalk driven subtle, ethereal core of fruit.
Kistler Vineyards is a small, family established and privately owned and operated winery dedicated to the vinification of world class Chardonnay and Pinot Noir using old world Burgundian techniques applied to our new world vineyards.
We have consistently bottled some of the finest new world examples of these two varietals for over 30 years. We produce single vineyard Chardonnay and Pinot Noirs, that are available exclusively to our mailing list members.
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 about 25,000 cases per year.
Steve Kistler received a B.A. from Stanford University, studied at U.C. Davis and Fresno State University for two years, and was an assistant at Ridge Vineyards for two years before founding Kistler Vineyards. He serves as winemaker 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 prior to joining Kistler Vineyards. Mark oversees the lab work and is the business manager for Kistler Vineyards.
Jason Kesner joined Kistler Vineyards in the summer of 2008. Jason managed Hudson vineyards from 2000-2008, the source of one of our finest wines. Jason serves as the assistant winemaker, and helps to oversee the vineyard operations.
Kistler VineyardsView all from Kistler Vineyards
Kistler Vineyards is a small, family-owned and -operated winery in the Russian River Valley specializing in the production of Burgundian-styled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
The vineyard sources for the wines stretch from western Sonoma county, some five miles from the Pacific to Carneros, just north of San Francisco Bay. The majority of the vineyards are owned and farmed by Kistler Vineyards. The vineyards are meticulously farmed, in order to produce wines of intense focus, and natural balance. Yields average two and a half tons per acre. Both the Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are crafted utilizing classic Burgundian techniques. The wines are produced solely by native yeasts and the barrels are crafted from French oak that is aged to our specifications and specifically tailored to our program. All of the wines are bottled unfiltered and unfined.
Each of the ten vineyard designated Chardonnays are marked first and foremost by regional characteristics. Beyond that lies the personality of each of the vineyards from which they hail. All of the sites are planted to the same clone, a California heritage selection that has been used for close to thirty years. Each wine is produced in the same fashion, with the focus being on the traditional techniques that elicit the earth driven, complex noble sulfides and resulting minerality inherent in the fruit from each site. Kistler Chardonnay is barrel fermented in our subterranean, gravel floor barrel rooms, and is aged sur lie in those same barrels, remaining for eleven to eighteen months until bottling.
Currently Kistler produces four vineyard designated Pinot Noirs. Each of these wines is crafted from the same clonal material; two small clustered low yielding clones that were imported from a Grand Cru vineyard in Burgundy which they began propagating over 20 years ago. Kistler Pinot Noir is fermented in small open top fermenters and the free run juice is barrel aged and remains in barrel for fourteen to eighteen months until bottling.