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Great Wine: Kistler Chardonnay, Kistler Vineyard


A majestic symphony. Mozart, middle period, to be precise. Headed towards the grandiosity of the last Jupiter 41st Symphony and possessing the gravity you find in the preceding tragic G minor 40th, but ever keen, bright and youthful at the core. After all, Mozart, the boy genius, did compose his middle period work from his late teens to mid-twenties. As we know, God granted Wolfgang Amadeus gifts well beyond his years, and the mountain land that bears the fruit of the 2009 KISTLER Chardonnay, Kistler Vineyard must have been similarly blessed by the same divinity. Long revered as perhaps the finest maker of Chardonnays in California—indeed, to uncork a Kistler is to tread lightly on hallowed ground.

This “Kistler Kistler” is so effortlessly structured—complete with an allegro, andante, menuetto and presto four movements of a “Haffner” symphony—the melon and citrus notes flowing so naturally and pleasingly on air like a finely tuned string section, with a mezzoforte burst of beeswax honey on the finish. Grand but modestly so, this is a chamber-sized orchestra with a big vision. Intimate but universal, supremely elegant and engrossing, addictively delicious—whatever ardent adjective you may prescribe to this wine—after the last note of the finale has been played, like with any great orchestral work of Mozart, you sit back and marvel at its . . . simplicity.  –J.M.



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December 20, 2014


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