2011 Kistler "Trenton Roadhouse" Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

SKU #1155422 94 points Vinous

 The 2011 Chardonnay Trenton Roadhouse is one of the highlights in this range. Bright, focused and lively, the 2011 flows across the palate with high-toned floral notes, white and green pears, mint and slate. The style is aromatic, lifted and precise throughout, with a level of crystalline purity and translucence that is a marvel to behold. Density, understated power and finesse - all supported by saline minerality - come together in the Trenton Roadhouse. This is much more polished in bottle than it was from tank. Drinking window: 2014 - 2021. This is a brilliant set of wines from Steve Kistler and his longtime business partner Mark Bixler. According to Kistler, the cool 2011 vintage had little effect on the Chardonnays, all of which were picked at their levels of ripeness, which as I have written previously, are lower than was the norm up until a few years ago. (AG)  (2/2014)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright gold. Vibrant, mineral-accented aromas of orange, nectarine, smoky minerals and honey. Round, sappy and plush but with a firm spine of acidity that lifts the powerful citrus and orchard fruit flavors. Notes of anise and fig build with air and carry through a strikingly long, smoky, focused finish. (ST)  (5/2014)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 A new offering for me comes from the rich Goldridge soils of the Russian River and Sonoma Coast. The 2011 Chardonnay Trenton Roadhouse is a dead-ringer for a Chassagne-Montrachet premier cru. Roasted hazelnuts, buttered citrus and wood smoke notes are followed by a full-bodied, honeyed Chardonnay that is best consumed over the next 3-4 years. (RP)  (12/2013)

90 points Wine Spectator

 This offers a touch of creamy, toasty oak, showing nutmeg, green fig, pear, apple and honeydew melon notes that are crisp and lively. Mouthwatering on the finish. (JL)  (7/2014)

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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√Ęcon, 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:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).