1998 Kistler "Hyde Vineyard" Carneros Chardonnay

SKU #992979 96 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Pale green-tinged color. Musky, leesy aromas of lime, ginger and iodine; showed more exotic pineapple and dried fruit notes as it opened in the glass. The palate detonates with sweet, penetrating, creamy fruit of extraordinary depth. As powerful as this is, it conveys an impression of poise. The explosive, endless finish combines palate-saturating fruit and dusty mineral notes. This is surely the greatest young chardonnay I've tasted in my dining room so far this year.  (5/ 2001)

93-95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The sensational 1998 Chardonnay Hyde Vineyard emerges from a block of vines that used to be sold to the Mondavis for their reserve Chardonnay. Roasted hazelnut, espresso, zesty tropical fruit, mineral, and buttery aromas and flavors are accompanied by a full-bodied, powerful, gorgeously pure and well-delineated wine. Made from old Chardonnay vines, it should drink well for 5-7 years, possibly longer.  (1/ 2000)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Sleek and elegant, with flavors that gain complexity and nuance. Lots of spicy and sharply focused citrus, pear, anise and apricot flavors that are smoky and rich.  (7/ 2001)

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Price: $89.99

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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, M‚con, 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:

Carneros

- Just across the Golden Gate from San Francisco, Carneros is kept cool by Bay breezes and thick fog, and has long been famous for cool-climate pinot noir, chardonnay and sparkling wine based on the two varietals. Warmer pockets have proved interesting and promising homes for syrah, cabernet and merlot.