1997 Kistler - Chardonnay Cuvee Cathleen 750ml

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IWC    WA 94-96   WS 92  
1997 Kistler - Chardonnay Cuvee Cathleen Front View

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Professional Reviews For This Wine

International Wine Cellar | Rating: 

Slightly hazy. Sexy, exotic aromas of pineapple, coconut and marzipan; some high-toned oak notes. Thick and rich but light on its feet; concentrated pina colada-like flavors are fat and open. Finishes with ripe notes of baked apple and pear, and a suggestion of heat. Very strong chardonnay, but not as complex as some of the '97 vineyard-designated releases.

Author: Stephen Tanzer
Issue: Issue 90

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Wine Advocate | Rating: 94-96

It is difficult to find the adjectives and superlatives to describe the 1997 Chardonnay Cuvee Cathleen. This offering is produced from a selection of barrels that Steve Kistler and Mark Bixler believe to be the richest and most complete. Negligibly better than the other brilliant cuvees, it possesses exceptional richness, length, and intensity. Layers of fruit, smoky, buttery popcorn, tropical fruit and mineral scents soar from the glass, and are exceptionally intense and well-balanced. This terrific, full-bodied effort should age for 8-10 years. Steve Kistler believes the 1997 Chardonnays are among the finest he has ever produced. The vintage's high yields do not appear to have had an impact on the wines' level of concentration and intensity. Moreover, the 1997's possess an atypical level of tangy, underlying acidity, giving the wines a wonderful vibrancy. The splendid aromatics are matched only by the 1995's. I tasted 8 Chardonnays. While they share a certain similarity, they posssess distinctive attributes that justify the winery's decision to differentiate them. All are fermented with both indigenous and commercial yeasts, given extensive stirring during prolonged contact with the lees, and bottled unfiltered after full malolactic fermentation. The percentage of new French oak varies, with higher percentages for the Camp Meeting Ridge, Hudson, and Cuvee Cathleen offerings.

Drink Dates: 1998-2008

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Wine Spectator | Rating: 92

Quite rich and complex, with tiers of ripe pear, apple, melon, custard and anise. Turns smooth and polished, with an intricate aftertaste. 540 cases made.

Drink Dates: 2000-2004
Author: James Laube

Professional content appears courtesy of Vinfolio

Average rating: 94, based on 3 reviews
More Vintages and Sizes of Kistler - Chardonnay Cuvee Cathleen:

Collector Data For This Wine

132 bottles owned by 57 collectors.

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About This Producer

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

Wine Varietal: Chardonnay

Arguably the best dry white wine grape out there, Chardonnay is grown all over the globe. In addition to being the backbone of fine white Burgundies, Chardonnay is also one of the three major grape varieties used in producing Champagne. Susceptible to a myriad of complications, Chardonnay berries are relatively small, thin-skinned, fragile, and oxidize easily. Chardonnay grapes can be sensitive to winemaking techniques and more difficult to handle from harvest to bottling than many other varieties. Some producers will use malolactic fermentation (where harsher malic acid is turned into softer lactic acid and carbon dioxide) to reduce crispness and acidity and add a creamy, buttery texture to wines. The "oaky" character of some Chardonnays comes from fermenting or aging which takes place in oak barrels. Once barrel-aged, Chardonnay may take on notes of vanilla or toast. While Chardonnay is produced worldwide, the best can be found in France, the United States, Argentina, Chile, Australia, Italy, New Zealand, and South Africa. Typical descriptors for Chardonnay include mineral, green apple, citrus, tropical fruits, vanilla, butter and smokiness.

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