2002 Kistler "Dutton Ranch" Russian River Valley Chardonnay (Previously $100)
The richest of the likeable Kistler collection, this keenly defined look at the varietal displays a certain unctuous immediacy while showing deep, ripe-apple fruit and layered suggestions of spice, stones, butter and lees. It is quite full on the palate and very well-balanced, and its flavors go on and on at the finish. Near-term drinking will be hard to resist, yet its very real sense of reserve makes keeping worthwhile.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Readers looking for more Meursault-like, roasted hazelnut, smokiness, tropical fruit and a leesy note to its medium to full-bodied, chunky, richly fruity style should check out the 2002 Chardonnay Dutton Ranch. An elegant example of this cuvee, but still typically California, it will drink well for 3-4 years.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Good medium yellow; slightly hazy. Musky aromas of lemon peel, iodine, minerals and charred oak. Velvety-rich and sweet on the palate, but with a light touch. A seamless chardonnay that really dances on the palate, even if it doesn't offer quite the texture or intensity of the best 2002 chardonnays at this address. Finishes tight and youthfully dry, with slightly edgy acidity. This really calls for a couple years of cellaring.