2002 Kistler "Dutton Ranch" Russian River Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1012222 91 points Connoisseurs Guide

 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.  (3/ 2005)

90-91 points 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.  (12/ 2003)

90 points 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.  (6/ 2005)

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Price: $69.99

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Varietal:

Chardonnay

- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Alexander Valley/Russian River

- Among Sonoma County's northernmost appellations, the Alexander Valley AVA acts as a gateway to neighboring Napa to the east and Mendocino to the north. It is a sprawling appellation, with pockets of distinct microclimates and soils, and as such, is home to a variety of wine grapes and styles. Nearly everything grows in the Alexander Valley, though Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the most widely planted grapes. The Russian River Valley lies to the south of Alexander Valley, and is marked by much cooler temperatures and frequently heavy fog. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown here are some of the state's finest and most sought-after. Aromatic whites like Gewürztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.