Kistler McCrea Vineyard Chardonnay 2004
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Wine AdvocateThere are 3,600 cases of the 2004 Chardonnay McCrea Vineyard. Its evolved light gold color is accompanied by a provocative nose of crushed rocks interwoven with orange liqueur, hazelnuts, and earth. Given its steely core of fruit, it is the most Chablisean of the 2004 Chardonnays. It should drink well for 5-7 years. For Steve Kistler and his longtime assistant, Mark Bixler, 2004 was a very small crop, even smaller than the modest production of 2003. This is a reference point winery for New World Chardonnay, although their viticultural and winemaking techniques are decidedly Burgundian. Interestingly, during the last year I have had an opportunity to taste some ten year old Kistler Chardonnays, and they have aged well in the bottle. While a decade is not long when compared with some long-lived white Burgundies, by the standards of most California Chardonnays, which are generally best consumed during their first 1-3 years of life, the Kistler techniques of whole cluster pressing, slow malolactic fermentation, aging on their lees in high quality French oak, and bottling without fining or filtration appear to be producing longer lived Chardonnays. Kistler has enjoyed a run of terrific vintages in the new century. Moreover, they seem to be ratcheting up their performance in terms of the quality and complexity of their Pinot Noirs.
Wine SpectatorShows wonderful, exotic aromas of zesty pear, apple and flowers, with pretty toasty, creamy oak and yeasty, leesy shadings. Adds a minerally quality on the palate, with a long, persistent finish. Drink now through 2009.