Localization: Sonoma Coast, California, USA
Tasting Notes: Kistler is a true standard bearer of quality in California. Their wines are not cheap but rarely are they anything but sublime. Blossom and white flowers on the nose and loads of dense but well weighted fruit - peach, apricots, pineapple and pear - on the palate. A fine and complex smorgasbord of fruit.
Notes: Les Noisetiers (pronounced Lay Nwaz-tee-yay) is a study of our Sonoma Coast sites. The name refers to the toasted hazelnut characters that we notice year in and year out from these sites. This cuvee is an appellation-focused Chardonnay. The explicit purpose of this wine is to illustrate a regional character of western Sonoma County highlighting mineral tones from vineyards with sandy Gold Ridge soils. The main sources are the Vine Hill Vineyard, Dutton Ranch and Trenton Roadhouse vineyards.
After thoughtful selection at the sorting table, whole clusters are fed by hand directly into the press. An extremely gentle 2-hour Champagne program is used to produce the best juice with the finest solids. The juice is consolidated in tank and then, without cold settling, is transferred directly to barrel with its fine lees. Driven solely by naturally occurring yeasts, the wine is barrel-fermented. Kistler Chardonnay fermentation temperatures are warm by California standards, but very much like Burgundy was made 20 years ago. The wine is fermented bone-dry. After a complete malolactic fermentation, the wine sees 11 months of barrel age with no battonage. The wine spends an additional 3 months in tank before being bottled without fining or filtration. There is a smaller percentage of new oak used on the Les Noisetiers in order to highlight the soil-driven character of this wine. This minerality is rare in new world Chardonnay.
Food Pairing: Bright acid levels and underlying structure lend to its natural place in accompanying food.
The Domain: One heritage Californian selection of Chardonnay planted across fifteen vineyards, from Carneros to Sonoma Valley, to the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast. From those sites we produce eleven vineyard designate Chardonnays. We are wholly dedicated to the ideal of wines of site. It’s an unparalleled approach in the new world.
Because of the clones, because of the sites we’ve chosen, because of our farming, the fruit can and will reach a perfect balance where it is the only ingredient needed to make exceptional wines.