2015 Kistler "Vine Hill Vineyard" Russian River Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1341832 96 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 Strutting seductive notions of fresh ginger, jasmine, marzipan and brioche over a core of lemon meringue pie, pear tart, apricot preserves and baked pineapples, the 2015 Chardonnay Vine Hill Vineyard is a knock-out beauty. Medium to full-bodied, it fills the mouth with opulent stone fruit and spice layers with a wonderfully creamy texture and just enough freshness, finishing very long with a compelling savory quality. (LPB)  (6/2018)

94 points Vinous

 The 2015 Chardonnay Vine Hill Vineyard offers striking finesse to play off a tropically-leaning profile that is somewhat unusual for this wine. Scents of tangerine, pineapple, mint and dried flowers are nicely delineated. Medium in body but with superb depth, the 2015 has a lot to say. The 2015 finishes with substantial weight and gravitas that only add to its considerable appeal. Over the last year, the fruit expression has become more overt than it was at the outset. (AG)  (4/2018)

93 points Connoisseurs Guide

 Leading with intense, incisively fruity, apple-like aromas infused with complementary creamy oak and accented with complexing touches of roasted grains, this beautifully composed Chardonnay conveys a great sense of depth and substance and is as vital as it is so very rich. While its oaky/leesy imprint is clear, it is defined first and last by its continuous fruit and is never overly beholden to extravagant winemaking, and, although it is already involving, its youthful energy is the marker of a wine well worth cellaring for several more years.  (7/2018)

93 points Wine Spectator

 This has enormous complexity, density, purity and focus, driven by a vibrant core of citrus-laced pear, melon, anise and apricot notes, ending long and full. A good bet for the cellar. Drink now through 2022. 1,900 cases made. (JL)  (6/2018)

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Price: $129.99
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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, 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.

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.
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).