1997 Kistler "Vine Hill" Russian River Valley Chardonnay
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Slightly hazy color. Complex, soil-inflected aromas of roasted grain, iodine, peat, pear skin and spring flowers. Very rich and concentrated; dense and deep but spicy and focused. This has a supple, airy texture I associate with the best ripe-year white Burgundies. Quite concentrated and tactile. Finishes with palate-staining length.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 1997 Chardonnay Vine Hill Road Vineyard (from both Hyde and Dijon Burgundy clones) is a more restrained wine with noticeably higher acidity. It reveals suggestions of cold steel, wet stones, and that liquid minerality found in certain Chardonnays. Medium to full-bodied, with excellent depth, and more austerity and backwardness than its siblings, it will benefit from another year of cellaring, and keep for 6-7 years.
Deep, rich and smoky, with layers of ripe fig, lemon, custard and melon. Long, intricate aftertaste.