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2014 Kistler - Chardonnay McCrea Vineyard (Athearn Estate)

UNITED STATES / CALIFORNIA / SONOMA
abv 14.1%
  • 95 WA
  • 92 WS
  • Variety
    Chardonnay
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SKU: 52320-2014
  • Wine Spectator | Rating: 92

    Combines ripeness, richness and structure, delivering a taut mix of flint, fig, apricot, white peach and nectarine flavors, all shaded by toasty oak. Ends with a long, full, lingering finish. Drink now through 2021. 2,110 cases made.
    Author: James Laube
  • Wine Advocate | Rating: 95

    The 2014 Chardonnay McCrea Vineyard has a gorgeously intense nose of pineapple paste, honey-nut and guava with touches of cashews and brioche. Medium to full-bodied with a lovely satiny texture, the tropical fruits are open for business with a zippy line of acidity to ensure great cellaring potential.
    Author: Lisa Perrotti-Brown
  • Vinous | Rating: 92

    The 2014 Chardonnay McCrea Vineyard is soft, open-knit and expressive, all qualities that make this a good choice for drinking now and over the next few years. Dried pear, almond, savory herbs and dried flowers carry through to the persistent finish. This supple, silky Chardonnay will drink well right out of the gate.
    Author: Antonio Galloni
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  • Kistler Vineyards is a small family-owned winery located in the Russian River Valley specializing in Burgundian style Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Since its first vintage in 1979, the winery has grown in size to produce 25,000 cases per year. Steve Kistler and Mark Bixler share the winemaking responsibilities, while Mark also acts as chemist and business manager. The winery, completed in 1992, is located on their Vine Hill Vineyard in the Russian River Valley. Kistler's fruit is sourced from various vineyards across Napa and Sonoma counties. Kistler Vineyards' wines are released semi-annually and almost exclusively to its mailing list.

    See other similar producers:Flowers Vineyard and Winery,Aubert,Littorai

    California is the heartland of wine production in the US, and the state that brought prestige to American wine thanks to the pioneers who built early wineries like Staglin, Beringer, Ridge, Mayacamas and Chateau Montelena in the 1800s. Its large geographic area ensures a great diversity in growing sites, varieties grown, and quality levels. Generalizations about the state's wines have numerous exceptions; however, a few key facts generally hold true—ample sunshine, dry weather during the growing season, and moderate winters prevail. Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon continue to dominate the state's production—albeit in continually smaller percentages, as growers continue to diversify. More than 100 different varieties can be found throughout the state.

    Chardonnay is a versatile variety that can grow in a wide range of climates, and its neutral flavor profile offers a blank canvas for winemakers to impart their style. In cool climates, Chardonnay displays flavors of green fruit and citrus. As the climate becomes more moderate, flavors of white peach and melon develop. In warm and hot climates, aromas of banana, pineapple, and other tropical fruit are common.

    The best Old-World Chardonnay comes from Burgundy, where it is uniquely reflective of terroir and can express many different flavor profiles even within this relatively small region. In Chablis, the northernmost part of Burgundy, wines are often unoaked and known for their minerality, high acidity, and aromas of green apple, citrus, wet stone, and slate. In the Côte de Beaune, further south, wines are typically aged in neutral French oak and have flavors of stone fruit, toast, almond, and cream. Burgundian producers pioneered the techniques that are now associated with high-quality Chardonnay around the world, including barrel fermentation, barrel ageing, malolactic fermentation, and maturation on lees. The best wines, from producers like Domaine Leflaive, Bouchard Père & Fils, and Domaine William Fèvre, can age in the bottle for a decade or more, developing complex aromas of nuts and mushroom.

    New-World Chardonnay tends to grow in warmer climates than in the Old World, producing wines that are full-bodied, high in alcohol, and low in acidity. Use of American oak imparts flavors of vanilla, clove, hazelnut, butter, and caramel on top of peach and banana fruit. Look to Californian producers in Napa and Sonoma, including Kistler, Peter Michael, and Aubert, for the highest-quality versions of this New-World style.

    Chardonnay’s versatility makes it a great option for pairing. High-acid wines from Chablis are the perfect accompaniment to oysters or clams, while oak-forward Napa wines are the best match for buttery lobster. Halibut, cod, and chicken breast are classic pairings with white Burgundy. 

    Collector Data For This Wine

    • 323 bottles owned
    • 35 collectors