Kistler Vineyards is a family-owned California winery located in Northern California's wine producing region of Sonoma County. According to Food and Wine Magazine, their "biannual release of Chardonnay is one of the most sought after by wine enthusiasts" and Food and Wine Magazine's Wine Guide considers their Chardonnays the "Best of the Best" among "Star Producers"
Kistler was founded in 1978, and continues to be family owned and operated today. Kistler's winemaking is supervised by Steve Kistler, who studied creative writing at Stanford University. Kistler also oversees the vineyard work. Mark Bixler,who has a PhD in Chemistry from the University of California at Berkeley runs the business and sales side of the winery as well as helping in the lab.
In addition to Chardonnay, Kistler Vineyards also produces different bottlings of Pinot noir from different vineyards, like the nearby Occidental Station and Bodega Headlands and in prior vintages Terra de Promissio. Like the Chardonnay, the Pinot noir is modeled after the wines of the Burgundy region of France.
Wine Advocate #206 Apr 2013 Antonio Galloni 93 The 2010 Chardonnay McCrea Vineyard is laced with lovely precision and class. White flowers, crushed rocks, yellow stone fruits and apricots emerge from this pretty, expressive Chardonnay. The McCrea is one of the more open 2010s here today. Its essential understated elegance comes through in spades. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2018.
It is always a pleasure to visit with Steve Kistler and his partner Mark Bixler. The 2011s and 2010s are excellent across the board, although I currently have a preference for the 2011s. Vintage 2011 is shaping up beautifully, for both the Chardonnays and Pinots. As was the case throughout the region, the season was cool and slow to develop. The 2011s were picked at lower sugars than is the norm here, but very much in keeping with the personality of the year. Steve Kistler commented that a poor set in 2011 resulted in their lowest crop loads in years. Like a lot of his colleagues, Kistler noted that the experiences of 2010 had a huge positive impact on how he responded to similar challenges in 2011. The 2010 Chardonnays are beautiful across the board. Although solid, the 2010 Pinots aren’t quite at the level of the superb 2009s and I expect, ultimately, the 2011s. It was a tough vintage for the Pinots. Yields were mercilessly low. Sadly, there is no Cuvee Elizabeth, as the little fruit that came in went into the Kistler Vineyard bottling.
JS: James Suckling
BV: Bidvino Staff
RP: Robert Parker
WS: Wine Spectator
JH: James Halliday
JR: Jancis Robinson
WE: Wine Enthusiast
DM: Decanter Magazine
JD: Jeb Dunnuck
2010 Kistler Chardonnay McCrea Vineyard
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