1995 Kalin Cellars "Cuvée LV" Sonoma County Chardonnay
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Releasing an 18-year-old Chardonnay is astonishing, but the 1995 Chardonnay Cuvee LV, which comes from the Long Vineyards in west Dry Creek, went through full malolactic, was aged in 50% new French oak for 12 months, and was bottled without filtration. It exhibits a light gold color followed by unbelievably fresh citrus notes intermixed with hints of lemon oil, white currants and candle wax. It is medium to full-bodied and flavorful, with no trace of oxidation or oak, this beautiful, rich, incredibly well-balanced Chardonnay will easily last another decade. Yes, Terry Leighton marches to the beat of not just a different drummer, but a different solar system. These 1995 and 2000 whites are his currant releases. I have been a big fan of his wines for many years (I still have a few bottles of his 1981 Pinot Noir and some of his older Sauvignon Blancs and Semillons in my cellar); he is a master at making incredibly long-lived wines. His Sauvignon Blanc is California’s longest-lived Sauvignon. These are unbelievable wines from an eccentric genius.
Only released by Kalin in late 2012, the 1995 Cuvée LV was sourced from a single vineyard in western Dry Creek Valley on a gravelly hillside which sees plenty of morning and evening fog. The vineyard is planted with low-yielding Wente Clone Chardonnay. The wine was barrel fermented in 50% new French oak where it spent 12 months before bottling. The wine then spent more than 15 years in Kalin's cellars until release. From the winery: "Rich varietal character is combined with exotic essences reminiscent of orange preserves, fresh tangerines, wild jasmine, and grilled bread." This wine has not been professionally reviewed, but the 1995 "Cuvée LD" released in 2010 garnered 93 points from Robert Parker's Wine Advocate.