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.
Kistler crafts Les Noisetiers Chardonnay exclusively for restaurants. Bright acid levels and underlying structure lend to its natural place in accompanying food.