If you have been reading our blog you know that I had both of my blind wines pegged (almost perfectly) at a recent outing. I wanted to take a minute to write about one of those wines, the 2004 Kistler Vine Hill Chardonnay. I thought the wine was fantastic.
Truth be told, I have never been a fan of Kistler wines. Having tried several different bottling’s on half a dozen occasions, they left me quite uninspired. I had the ’04 Vine Hill in my cabinet and was actually planning on selling it because I did not think I would enjoy it. When we planned on this dinner, I thought…let’s bag it and see what happens.
My past experience with Kistler has always led me to believe that it was really just another overdone California chardonnay. Way too much oak…so much of it in fact that the fruit was nowhere to be seen. No true of the ’04 Vine Hill…yes, there was oak (and a fair amount of it). But it was perfectly integrated and not over the top at all. The other two people at dinner that night thought it was Grand Cru White Burgundy, and I would have agreed with them if I was tasting it blind.
Why was this bottle different than what I have seen in the past? I have come to the conclusion that perhaps Kistler needs some time in the bottle for the oak to integrate. In any event, I have been talked off the edge and am now looking forward to trying another appropriately age Kistler to see if I can duplicate the experience. – Lance Cerutti – www.suburbanwines.com