Kistler Vineyards Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Tasting Friday February 15th and WIDY Chateau Lafite Rothschild back to 1959 the first Once in a Lifetime tasting of 2019

Share on Facebook

http://www.biography.com/imported/images/Biography/Images/Profiles/M/Karl-Marx-9401219-1-402.jpg


 


Be careful to trust a person who does not like wine.


Karl Marx


 


I will have to agree with Marx on this subject and I will add this caveat for Chardonnay and Pinot Noir Lovers- Do not trust California oenophiles that do not like the wines of Kistler Vineyards.  There are few things that every major critic agrees on but the quality that this producer has put forth since their first vintage is second to none in the California wine game.


We are getting back to our segment of “What I Drank Yesterday” but have been too busy drinking to get around to reviewing wines but we did have time to get the review on the Chateau Lafite Rothschild wine tasting back to 1959 at the end of this offering.  Of all the great vintages on the table the 1990 came out in first place this evening and the second place finisher was one of the surprises of the year so far the 1971 came in second!  That’s why to host these events were doing scientific work with wine here at Wine Watch!
http://www.lafw.com/webart/wineries/318_b.jpg


Kistler is one of California's elite wine producers.  They have been making wines since the 1980 vintage and have regularly scored 90+ points on every wine that they release with their top bottling making near perfect scores from every major publication that has rated them including Francofile MW Clive Coates.  The press on these wines in the Wine Spectator, Connoisseurs Guide to California Wine, The Wine Advocate and International Wine Cellar has been very consistent over the years even though their winemaking style has evolved over the years.   Their wines are only available in top restaurants and are very hard to come by in retail stores as they sell 80% of their production direct on their mailing list.


Join us as we have a rare opportunity to taste some of the top chardonnay and pinot noir bottling from California.  We will be showing a selection of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir going back to the 1999 vintage.  Chef Toni Lampasone will be making a few small courses to accompany the tasting wines.  The fee for this tasting is $175 + tax, for reservations call 954-523-9463 or e-mail andy@winewatch.com.


image006_1433.jpg


Kistler Pinot Noir and Chardonnay Wine Tasting at Wine Watch
Friday, February 15, 2019
7:30 PM

2004 Kistler Chardonnay Hudson Vineyard Carneros


2004 Kistler Chardonnay Kistler Vineyard Sonoma Valley

2005 Kistler Chardonnay Cuvee Cathleen Kistler Vineyard

2005 Kistler Chardonnay Stone Flat Vineyard Sonoma Coast


2006 Kistler Chardonnay Cuvee Cathleen Kistler Vineyard




2004 Kistler Cuvee Catherine Pinot Noir


2004 Kistler Pinot Noir Cuvee Elizabeth Bodegas Highlands Vineyard


2005 Kistler Pinot Noir Kistler Vineyard Occidental Station Cuvee Catherine


2006 Kistler Pinot Noir Cuvee Elizabeth Bodegas Highlands Vineyard


2006 Kistler Pinot Noir Kistler Vineyard Russian River


Menu

Selection of Charcuterie and Cheese
Baltimore Crab Cakes with Lemon-Caper Aioli & Micro Greens
Caribbean Rubbed Chicken Breast with Pineapple-Melon-Mint Salsa & Coconut Jasmine Rice
Crispy Duck Breast finished with 5 spice duck demi & Hoisin Chinese Pes Shoots.


A bit about Kistler Vineyards


Home


Opinions about Kistler are as unanimous as anything can be in a business where subjectivity can be all across the board.  Clive Coates, the foremost wine critic in Great Britain, thinks Kistler is one of a handful of California Chardonnays that competes on a world-class level.  Robert Parker JR. says Kistler is "clearly one of California's brightest stars"; Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine, which anoints its best wines with “Puff” ratings, has given more of these quixotic puffs to Kistler than any producer in the twenty-two year history of the publication; The Wine Spectator has waxed poetic about Kistler Chardonnays with numerous 90+ ratings and picked the '92 Kistler Vineyard Chardonnay as its highest rated Chardonnay (94) in 1995.  Although some producers can rival Kistler's efforts with very small quantities of top Chardonnay, no producer in the past four decades even comes close when one considers the fact that Kistler produces significant numbers and has done so at an awesomely high level of quality and consistency.


The winery got off to a grand start with a trio of 1979 Chardonnays that were ballyhooed by every authority in the business, but the 1980 Kistlers were bottled too early and had problems with sulfide.  Kistler took the very difficult and unprecedented step of recalling what could be salvaged - but not before the critics had a field day trashing them and dismissing Kistler as a "flash in the pan."  Right from the start Kistler was an innovator with winemaking methods that were once considered "out on the edge".  Malolactic fermentation was one such technique - they were the first winery to undertake it on a serious scale.  Today it is accepted gospel among many California producers.  They didn't - and still don't - cold stabilize their wines.  In the beginning filtration wasn't part of the plan - though some are now lightly filtered.


Bixler goes into the vineyards every day at 5 a.m. during harvest to make sure that those blocks promised for Kistler are not picked until they reach optimum ripeness.  "When I talk to other wineries about range of sugars, I am amazed about what extent they find acceptable - by and large we look for a very narrow range", says Bixler.  "Steve is back at the winery - I'm out there in the vineyards during the picking, doing the sampling, and determining when we pick.  I have a degree of care, attention, and concern; and Steve has the same extreme interest.  It is very advantageous to have two different people doing two different jobs with an equally high interest in the outcome". The winery has learned that about 40% new French oak is the right formula for aging their Chardonnays, but some bottlings receive as much as 100% new oak.


The key to quality at Kistler is more than just the result of a highly talented team, lots of hard work, and intelligent effort - it is the special nature of their vineyards.  Kistler owns outright only two of its six vineyard sites - the Kistler Vineyard, a 20-acre parcel that sits on the divide between Sonoma and Napa some 2000 feet up in the Mayacamas mountains and their new property on Vine Hill Road.  Besides the winery's own vineyards, the relationship the partners have with their growers is crucial.  Dutton Ranch in Sonoma's cool Green Valley has been in the Kistler camp since 1979 - Kistler gets very favored, low production sites on hilltops within Warren Dutton's famed vineyard.  Another site which has yielded terrific Chardonnays for Kistler has been the Durell Vineyard.  Although other wineries have produced Chardonnays that bear the Durell name, apparently Kistler also gets the most favored vines at Durell.  Kistler's 1989 and 1990 Durell Chardonnays were our back-to-back picks for "Best Chardonnay of the Year" for 1991 and 1992 respectively.  Kistler has high expectations for a new property, Camp Meeting Ridge Vineyard, located just two miles from the Pacific Ocean at an elevation of 2000 feet in Northern Sonoma County.  This vineyard has yielded its first fruit from the '93 vintage - small amounts of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay were forthcoming in early 1997.


The luxury of picking and choosing exactly what will wear the Kistler name has placed Mark and Steve in a very enviable position.  At the end of the 1987 vintage Fred McCrea approached them and asked if they would take his grapes.  The McCrea Vineyard is a low-yielding, extremely well-situated property with thirty-year-old chardonnay vines that yield Kistler about 2500 cases of wine.  Kistler's first seven Chardonnays from McCrea fruit have been outstanding.  Several years ago Kistler purchased a thirty-year lease on this vineyard, so the winery essentially controls the fruit from vine to bottle.  That lease, and others being negotiated, are part of the Kistler/Bixler game plan, which calls for less reliance on growers and eventual total control over all grape sources used in Kistler wines.  We would be remiss if we did not mention the tiny amount of a seventh Chardonnay called "Cuvée Cathleen", first released from the 1992 vintage.  This wine is a selection of the finest barrels from all the vineyards - about half of it comes from the Kistler Vineyard.  In June of 1996 we had an opportunity to taste with Mark Bixler both the 1993 "Cuvée Cathleen" and the 1993 Kistler Vineyard in a side-by-side comparison - both were fantastic wines with the edge going to the more opulent and flattering Kistler Vineyard bottling.  An eighth Chardonnay from the Hudson Vineyard in Carneros was added in the 1994 vintage, would it be a surprise if we told you that this wine was another home run.


Up until late 1991 Kistler made all their wines at a small, antiquated winery located next to the Kistler Vineyard on Sonoma Mountain.  However, Kistler purchased a new twenty-acre vineyard site on Vine Hill Road a few miles west of Santa Rosa.  There Kistler built an ultra-modern winery to handle all their grape sources.  The adjacent new vineyard (referred to as the Vine Hill Road Vineyard) was planted in 1988 and first bore fruit in time for the 1990 vintage; the new winery was fully ready to receive the fruit beginning in the '92 harvest.  This is a facility that was designed by a winemaker especially for his wines (not for tourists!), with many unique features that appear to have taken Kistler to an even higher level of quality.


Kistler also produces a small amount of Pinot Noir from the Vine Hill site, which supplements the Pinot Noir it now produces from the Dutton Ranch.  Kistler has discontinued the Cabernet it once produced and has replanted the Kistler Vineyard with pinot noir.  There is also a Pinot Noir from the aforementioned Camp Meeting Ridge Vineyard.  The eventual plan is to offer as many different Pinot Noirs as Chardonnays.


Kistler blends fruit from all of its vineyard sources to produce a Sonoma Coast bottling.  The Kistler Sonoma Coast is the least expensive Kistler Chardonnay and is made in the greatest quantities (almost 7,000 cases).  Essentially it's "leftovers"...of the sort we will be glad to drink anytime!  The fantastic 1994 Sonoma Coast bottling was our pick for "Best Chardonnay of 1995" in The Wine News.  The 1995 Sonoma Coast bottling was even better than the 1994 - the price also began to approach the single vineyard bottlings.  1996, amazingly, produced another excellent wine, released a little too late to be a candidate for the “Best of” awards.  Kistler has become a perennial overachiever when it comes to Chardonnay.   It would appear that Kistler is selecting much more carefully for this wine, and it is reflected in the price and the incredible quality.  Kistler introduced two new bottlings to their line-up with the 1998 vintage, the Carneros appellation bottling and the Les Noisetier.  The Carneros bottling is the lightest and most elegant in the line, almost untypical for Kistler to produce an elegant and lighter styled wine, however there is still evidence of Kistler’s hallmark style, over-the-top toasty, rich, ultra-ripe.  In addition to the Carneros Kistler is also bottling a wine called Les Noisetier, this is a blend of Dutton, Durell and a bit of Sonoma coast. 


The Sonoma Mountain bottling is just a shade lighter in depth and richness from the single vineyard bottling.  Kistler’s wines are produced solely by native yeasts. Their barrels are crafted from French oak that is aged to our specifications and specifically tailored to our program. All of Kistler’s wines are bottled unfiltered and unfined.


Kistler Chardonnay is barrel fermented in Kistler’s subterranean, gravel floor barrel rooms, and is aged sur lie in those same barrels, remaining for eleven to eighteen months until bottling. 


Older Kistler Wines Available:


Kistler Chardonnay Available


1995 Kistler Chardonnay Sonoma Coast

Price: $120.00    Your Price: $105.60          Quantity in Stock:


2004 Kistler Chardonnay Hudson Vineyard Carneros

Price: $99.00    Your Price: $87.12               Quantity in Stock: 1


2004 Kistler Chardonnay Kistler Vineyard Sonoma Valley

Price: $119.00    Your Price: $104.72          Quantity in Stock: 1


2005 Kistler Chardonnay Dutton Ranch

Price: $99.00    Your Price: $87.12               Quantity in Stock: 1


2005 Kistler Chardonnay Vine Hill

Price: $109.0    Your Price: $95.92               Quantity in Stock: 1


2005 Kistler Chardonnay Hudson Vineyard Carneros

Price: $105.00    Your Price: $92.40             Quantity in Stock: 1


2005 Kistler Chardonnay Cuvee Cathleen Kistler Vineyard

Price: $199.00    Your Price: $175.12          Quantity in Stock: 1


2005 Kistler Chardonnay Stone Flat Vineyard Sonoma Coast

Price: $99.00    Your Price: $87.12               Quantity in Stock: 3


2006 Kistler Chardonnay Stone Flat Vineyard Parmelee Hill

Price: $99.00    Your Price: $87.12               Quantity in Stock: 2


2006 Kistler Chardonnay Kistler Vineyard

Price: $125.00    Your Price: $110.00          Quantity in Stock: 2


2006 Kistler Chardonnay Durell

Price: $105.00    Your Price: $92.40             Quantity in Stock: 1


2006 Kistler Chardonnay McCrae Vineyard

Price: $94.75    Your Price: $83.38               Quantity in Stock: 1


2006 Kistler Chardonnay Dutton Ranch

Price: $105.00    Your Price: $92.40             Quantity in Stock: 1


2014 Kistler Chardonnay Vine Hill Vineyard 375ml

Price: $42.00    Your Price: $36.96               Quantity in Stock: 4


2016 Kistler Chardonnay Dutton Ranch

Price: $139.00    Your Price: $122.32          Quantity in Stock: 1


2016 Kistler Chardonnay McCrea Vineyard

Price: $139.00    Your Price: $122.32          Quantity in Stock: 1


Kistler Pinot Noir available


2004 Kistler Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast

Price: $99.00    Your Price: $87.12               Quantity in Stock: 2


2004 Kistler Cuvee Catherine Pinot Noir

Price: $176.00    Your Price: $154.88          Quantity in Stock: 2


2004 Kistler Pinot Noir Cuvee Elizabeth Bodegas Highlands Vineyard

Price: $245.00    Your Price: $215.60          Quantity in Stock: 2


2006 Kistler Pinot Noir Cuvee Elizabeth Bodegas Highlands Vineyard

Price: $179.00    Your Price: $157.52          Quantity in Stock: 2


2006 Kistler Pinot Noir Kistler Vineyard Russian River

Price: $120.00    Your Price: $105.60          Quantity in Stock: 3


2006 Kistler Pinot Noir Cuvee Catherine Occidental Station

Price: $149.00    Your Price: $131.12          Quantity in Stock: 1


2015 Kistler Pinot Noir Russian River

Price: $77.75    Your Price: $68.42               Quantity in Stock: 11


2016 Kistler Pinot Noir Laguna Ridge Vineyard

Price: $149.00    Your Price: $131.12          Quantity in Stock: 2


What I Drank Yesterday:  Chateau Lafite Roschild Tasting back to the epic 1959 vintage


image009_0501.jpg



 


This was the first "Once in a Lifetime" tasting of 2019 and I wanted to make it extra special as this is my 50th year on the planet and I'm planning to take down as many KILLER bottles as I can this year.   So, you know there will be a lot of Krug Champagne coming out and as many 1969 vintage wines as I have in my cellar! 


 


We started with the 2004 Vintage Krug Brut Champagne, this is a classic vintage for Krug, very different from the forward and seductive 2003 which is also in the market and not as tightly wound as the KILLER 2002.  I have 6 bottles set aside for future evaluation as this is little man’s birthyear.


“Combining delicacy, balance and bountiful citrus of all types, Krug 2004 – named 'Luminous Freshness' by the House – evokes the sensations of early summer mornings in Champagne.”  After a chill start to the growing season, the beautiful weather from mid-September to early October ensured that 2004 was a generous year following the challenging extremes and small yields of 2003.  Nature’s elation afforded a breadth of choice and the harvested grapes were in very good condition.   For Krug, the year 2004 gave birth to highly expressive, bright, undeniably elegant and discreet wines with a shining structure.  Paying close attention to every vineyard’s character, respecting the individuality of each plot and its wine allowed Eric Lebel to identify the music of the year. He brought it to life by creating a composition marked by elegance and bountiful citrus.   Krug 2004 is a dialogue between shining Chardonnays (39%) and the backbone of Pinot Noir (37%) combined with the vivacity, tension and citrus notes of Meunier (24%).  The elegance of Krug 2004 comes after over 12 years in the cellars gaining in harmony, expression and finesse.  rug 2004 is the last of the second trilogy in the history of the House, the first being 1988, 1989 and 1990 and the second 2002, 2003 and 2004.  As with all Krug Champagnes, Krug 2004 will continue to gain with the passage of time.”  


1959 Chateau Lafite Rothschild Pauillac

Price: $3750.00    Sale Price: $2950.00       Quantity in Stock: 1


Very dark color for a wine this old a bit musty at first but that blowing off and the nose still has that exotic oriental spice quality and dried tobacco, this wine even though not a perfect example of this wine showed the richness of the 1959 vintage for Lafite, the fruit was a bit dead on the nose but the wine was better on the palate and with food still very enjoyable, not a perfect example of this wine and we were plagued with off bottles tonight with 3 bottles out of 12 that were not in perfect shape.  But this wine was still excellent, and it got 2 votes for first place!!  Finish 45+  Excellent


1959 Chateau Margaux Margaux


Has a very light bouquet with savory red currant berry fruit hints of cigar box and dried herbs, still has nice fruit with fine tannins lingering spice on the finish and a truffle like earthy note.  Finish 40+       Excellent +         

               
1964 Chateau Lafite Rothschild Pauillac               

Price: $495.00    Your Price: $435.60          Quantity in Stock: 1


Smoky dried herbs and saddle leather aromas with just a hint of red berry fruit, dried leaves and some spice but still very much alive and Lafite like.  Finish 35+      Excellent             

               
1964 Carruades De lafite Rothschild Pauillac


A very similar nose to the Lafite with a light musty quality, this wine was slightly corked, the bouquet just a shadow of what it should have been.       Finish 30+ Good +           


1970 Chateau Lafite Rothschild Pauillac               

Price: $695.00    Sale Price: $590.75           Quantity in Stock: 11


A bit fresher than the 1971 has that spice and smoky quality Asian spices and light red berry fruit and a light smoky quality coming out has more richness than the 1971 but maybe not as nuanced.  Finish 35+         Excellent +


1971 Chateau Lafite Rothschild Pauillac

Price: $595.00    Sale Price: $505.75           Quantity in Stock: 6        


Very light color has some of that classic exotic spice and earthy nuance of Lafite but also has tea notes, a very light bouquet but has nice complexity.  Very light on the tongue but has lovely spice and lovely nuance on the finish, this wine finished in second place this evening- a shocker!!  Finish 35+             Excellent                             


1982 Chateau Lafite Rothschild Pauillac (375ml)               

Price: $1500.00    Sale Price: $995.00         Quantity in Stock: 1


A good amount of fruit here on the nose along with exotic spice and a leathery note to the currant berry fruit, smoky and a nice sweetness to the nose along with a hint of cigar box spice.  Full bodied on the palate with excellent concentration, a Lafite for the ages and always a candidate for wine of the night, the finish here goes on and on but it this little bottle go no votes for WOTN this evening but was even better on the second day.  Finish 50+              Most Excellent +             

               
1982 Chateau Margaux Margaux              


A bit of reduction on the nose maybe some VA blowing off with a nice tobacco spice here along with dried herbs and a bit darker in color maybe more brown notes than anticipated at this age hints of burnt woodsy notes.          Very Good                         

                               
1985 Chateau Lafite Rothschild Pauillac

Price: $1450.00    Sale Price: $995.00         Quantity in Stock: 3


Has that classic smoky and spice nuance of Lafite showing nicely right out of the bottle with a good amount of red currant berry fruit, still quite youthful and this is a perfect example of Lafite in its prime lovely balance and freshness through the finish excellent length with tongue tingly minerality.       Finish 45+  Most Excellent           

               
1990 Chateau Lafite Rothschild                 Pauillac

Price: $1500.00    Sale Price: $995.00         Quantity in Stock: 2


Lots of fruit here on the nose with red currant berry fruit, exotic spices and smoky notes very complex big and lots of everything, one of the great vintages of Lafite and always a candidate for WOTN, smoky cigar notes a big and seductive bouquet of aromas.  Finish 50+  This wine was WOTN this evening and still a youngster but          KILLER  

               


I know we probably should have ended this tasting with Rieussec but I only had a magnum in stock and there were only 8 of us at this “Once in a Lifetime” tasting event so we ended the evening with 2005 Chateau Suduiraut Sauternes.  This vintage is ultra-rich with lots of sweet pineapple and peach fruit, crème brulee and honeyed notes starting to emerge.  Viscous and creamy on the tongue with layers of ripe fruit, pretty floral and honey notes and a firm hand of acidity, sweet but has enough of everything else to match.  Finish 50+  Most Excellent

Share on Facebook


back

Cart Summary

Your shopping cart is empty!

Wine Watch Events

Wine Bar is open for regular Service

Fri, Feb 22, 2019

This Week’s Menu at the Wine Bar White Truffle Oil & Parmesan Dusted Shoestring Fries $18 Shutty Fries ...

Wine Bar is Open for Regular Service

Sat, Feb 23, 2019

This Week’s Menu at the Wine Bar White Truffle Oil & Parmesan Dusted Shoestring Fries $18 Shutty Fries ...

Ultimate Champagne Wine Tasting at Wine Watch

Thu, Feb 28, 2019

    "Yes, I like Piña Coladas and getting caught in the rain I'm not much into health food, I am into champag...

Chateau Petrus 10 Year Vertical tasting back to 1961! Hey it's my birthday weekend why not...

Fri, Mar 1, 2019

  Jack: If they want to drink Merlot, we're drinking Merlot. Miles Raymond: No, if anyone orders Merlot, I'm l...

1969 Vintage Wines My 50th Birthday tasting!

Sat, Mar 2, 2019

"Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine."  Gene...

Flowers Winery Wine Tasting with Special guest Winemaker Chantal Forthun

Thu, Mar 7, 2019

Flowers Winery Wine Tasting with Special guest Winemaker Chantal Forthun

Quintarelli Amarone Wine Tasting at Wine Watch

Fri, Mar 8, 2019

Quintarelli Tasting Friday, March 8th 7:30pm 2017 Quintarelli Bianco Secco Ca Del Merlo 2014 Quintarelli Prim...

Sine Qua Non Cult California Rhone tasting at Wine Watch

Sat, Mar 9, 2019

Sine Qua Non Cult California Rhone tasting at Wine Watch Saturday, March 9th 7:30pm   Sine Qua Non Cult Calif...

Freemark Abbey Wine Tasting with special Guest Winemaker Ted Edwards

Tue, Mar 12, 2019

Freemark Abbey Wine Tasting with special Guest Winemaker Ted Edwards

Silver Oak Wine Tasting with Special Guest Winemaker Nate Weiss

Wed, Mar 13, 2019

Silver Oak Wine Dinner with Special Guest Winemaker Nate Weiss Wednesday, March 13, 2019 7:30 PM   Twomey    ...