2015 Kistler "Hudson Vineyard" Carneros Chardonnay (Previously $130)

SKU #1313698 95 points Connoisseurs Guide

 The Kistler Chardonnay contingent is far from a homogenous, barely differing bunch, yet this one stands out a bit more than most and claims the mantle of being the richest, most lavish of all. Its sweeping aromas of ripe apples, lees and toasty oak are echoed in kind by its very broad, highly extracted, mouthfilling flavors, and its sustained impressions of depth are compelling. It closes with a bit of vinous grip not found in its mates, and, if a generous, wholly fascinating wine at the moment, its potential for growth and increased polish with age commend a few more years of cellaring.  (7/2018)

95 points Wine Enthusiast

 From one of the older blocks of the famous vineyard, once looked after by this winemaker, this wine is beautifully golden in color with a reduced, salty nose of caramelized pretzel. Robustly built, it shows fleshy, lush layers of honey and tropical richness. (VB)  (7/2018)

94 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2015 Chardonnay Hudson Vineyard opens with profound notions of pink grapefruit, pear tart and green mango with touches of pie crust, almond paste, orange blossoms and honeycomb. Medium to full-bodied, it completely coats the palate with satiny textured tropical and citrus fruits, featuring loads of savory accents and a long, uplifting finish. (LPB)  (6/2018)

93 points Vinous

 The weight and power of the vintage really come through in the 2015 Chardonnay Hudson Vineyard, and yet the wine doesn't feel quite put together just yet. Even so, there is good depth and creaminess to the tropically-leaning flavors, along with that super-classic hint of matchstick reduction that is such a signature of Hudson Chardonnays. In this tasting, the Hudson is a bit awkward. I would give it another 6-12 months in bottle. (AG) 93+  (4/2018)

92 points Wine Spectator

 Though taut and zesty, this offers a light touch of smoky oak that adds dimension and depth, leaving room for development. Drink now through 2022. (JL)  (6/2018)

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- 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, Mâcon, 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.

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.


- 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.
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- 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.