2004 Kistler "McCrea" Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
There 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... For Steve Kistler and his longtime assistant, Mark Bixler, 2004 was a very small crop...This is a reference point winery for New World Chardonnay, although their viticultural and winemaking techniques are decidedly Burgundian...While a decade is not long when compared with some long-lived white Burgundies, by the standards of most California Chardonnays...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.
Shows 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.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Medium gold. Honeyed pear and peach on the nose, with a bright mineral overlay. More crisp in the mouth, with energetic citrus and pear flavors and a refreshing minerality that reminded me of Chablis. Finishes on a bright, spicy note, with excellent length.