Robert Parker Rating:95 Points
"Bright gold. Intense, sharply focused citrus and pear skin aromas are underscored by vivid minerality. Precise, elegant and expressive on the palate, with concentrated lemon and lime flavors and a delicate hint of smoky minerality. This fat-free wine has Chablis-like qualities, finishing with excellent lift and thrust."
|Robert Parker Review:
The light gold-colored, full-bodied, intense 2004 Chardonnay Dutton Ranch (2,700 cases) displays evolved fruit notes in the nose (waxy peaches, honeysuckle, and wood). The showiest, most flamboyant of these 2004s, it requires consumption over the next 3-4 years.
For Steve Kistler and his longtime assistant, Mark Bixler, 2004 was a very small crop, even smaller than the modest production of 2003. This is a reference point winery for New World Chardonnay, although their viticultural and winemaking techniques are decidedly Burgundian. Interestingly, during the last year I have had an opportunity to taste some ten year old Kistler Chardonnays, and they have aged well in the bottle. While a decade is not long when compared with some long-lived white Burgundies, by the standards of most California Chardonnays, which are generally best consumed during their first 1-3 years of life, the Kistler techniques of whole cluster pressing, slow malolactic fermentation, aging on their lees in high quality French oak, and bottling without fining or filtration appear to be producing longer lived Chardonnays. Kistler has enjoyed a run of terrific vintages in the new century. Moreover, they seem to be ratcheting up their performance in terms of the quality and complexity of their Pinot Noirs. -RP