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 Vintage1998 Label 1 of 38 
(NOTE: Label borrowed from 1999 vintage.)
ProducerKistler (web)
VineyardVine Hill Vineyard
SubRegionSonoma County
AppellationRussian River Valley

Drinking Windows and Values
Drinking window: Drink between 2003 and 2009 (based on 7 user opinions)
Wine Market Journal quarterly auction price: See Kistler Chardonnay Vine Hill on the Wine Market Journal.

Community Tasting History

Community Tasting Notes (average 92.4 pts. and median of 93 pts. in 30 notes) - hiding notes with no text

 Tasted by emzee.mc on 11/15/2014 & rated 95 points: This chardonnay pours a golden amber hue (think aged sauternes) with very long legs. At 14.1% abv with the age, I expect the alcohol to have ebbed a little. A massive nose of marzipan, maple, butterscotch, honey, and a faint touch of citrus at the end. There are even some tertiary notes of soybean, sugarcane and lemon curd. On the palate, the wine is unctuous and displays a clear, well defined structure; in fact, the mouthfeel is robust yet restrained with poise. There are notes of honeysuckle, creme brulee, wet stones and camembert in the end. Just the faintest of touches of lemon peel to round things out. Compared to Marcassin and Aubert, this drinks more in the style of an aged Grand Cru Burgundy with the immense extract, finesse, balance and charm. Finish is long and lasts for well over half a minute! This wine is a prime example of what Napa chardonnays can offer at the top level. Incredible effort from the guys at Kistler. (851 views)
 Tasted by hal0 on 11/22/2013 & rated 87 points: Boring. Cali chard at its most mediocre. (1244 views)
 Tasted by Jonathan T on 8/20/2013 & rated 95 points: A totally unexpected pleasure. My dining companion was leery and skeptical when I mentioned I was bringing a 15-year-old Cali Chardonnay. We were certain the plants outside would be the eventual beneficiary of this wine. It turned out to be marvelous and one of the most complex and unique whites I've ever had, as it was both hedonistically and intellectually satisfying. The color was a shade of amber not unlike aged Sauternes. On the nose and palate were butterscotch, toasted nuts, and grilled pineapples. Hints of caramel, but not sweet. It has shed a lot of the citrus notes of its youth, but it was still there to give the wine liveliness. Unbelievable experience. Consumed at R+D Kitchen in Newport Beach. (1340 views)
 Tasted by mwanasheria on 3/2/2013 & rated 96 points: This is a spectacular Bottle of Kistler Chardonnay. Amber colour, boysemberry, wet stone, nice acidity. Mouthfilling and long. Spectacular and has lots of life left. (1578 views)
 Tasted by mwanasheria on 1/28/2013 & rated 95 points: This is drinking spectacularly well and I find the Kistler Chardonnays very ageworthy if one likes older Chardonnays. This has shed all of its fat and gives way to a very elegant and complex palate of hazelnut, some residual sweetness of pineapple, some citrus. Wet stone. Great. (1608 views)
 Tasted by BernieMSY on 11/27/2011 & rated 91 points: Amber, with Butterscotch tones. See my prior post (1554 views)
 Tasted by BernieMSY on 4/24/2011 & rated 93 points: Agree with prior poster. Deep amber color, lots of caramel. Sugar fading, still lively. A bit like meeting an aging movie star. Still beautiful, but current state only hints at how brilliant-looking she once was. (1488 views)
 Tasted by winotoo on 11/24/2010 & rated 91 points: Opened with some trepidation. Its old. Its a '98. Yellow amber color hinted at over the hill but, lo and behold, its drinking very nicely. Typical Kistler profile, pineapple, hazelnut, lanolin in both nose and on the palate. Long finish.

Good now but should be consumed soon. (1634 views)
 Tasted by keithgg on 9/3/2010 & rated 93 points: Wow, what a surprise - an aged Kistler showing well! (1584 views)
 Tasted by M DU VIN on 8/1/2010 & rated 93 points: Just an exclellent, fully aged Chardonnay that tasted like a well aged Batard Montrachet. (1681 views)
 Tasted by M DU VIN on 12/6/2009 & rated 92 points: Wonderfully aged Kistler. Time to drink up, though. (1845 views)
 Tasted by M DU VIN on 4/26/2009 & rated 93 points: What a wonderful wine. But surely the time to drink up. (1977 views)
 Tasted by JDRFoster on 2/28/2009 & rated 93 points: Rich aged Kistler, still crisp with prominent oak and pleasant minerality (2018 views)
 Tasted by JDRFoster on 12/23/2008 & rated 91 points: Rich. More fruit in this bottle. Lots of butter, oak and nuts. (1990 views)
 Tasted by JDRFoster on 12/19/2008 & rated 90 points: Aged Kistler Chard with rich butteriness, prominent nuttiness and an essence dried fruit. Showing its age. (1995 views)
 Tasted by dbg on 8/6/2008: drink up (1946 views)
 Tasted by Richard Jennings on 5/6/2008 & rated 90 points: Eclectic Goodies at David's and Plumed Horse (David Niederauer's and The Plumed Horse, Saratoga, California): Light medium orange color with golden lights; buttery, sweet lemon, lemon candy nose; sweet butter, oxidized, tangy palate; medium finish (1983 views)
 Tasted by 60ouvrees on 10/6/2007: Color would indicate that this is totally mature. Odd nose of caraway seed and dill. No acidity to speak of. Next. (2266 views)
 Tasted by conadoc on 7/30/2007 & rated 94 points: Delicious, large scaled, full of fruit and nuts and smoke (2507 views)
 Tasted by conadoc on 7/18/2007 & rated 94 points: My guests remembered drinking Kistler a year ago and were very happy to see it again. It is a large scaled wine with a big fruit nose and palate. It has smoke, nuts on the palate and a bit of spice. Delicious (2485 views)
 Tasted by lebo on 1/6/2007 & rated 97 points: Drinking perfectly. Golden color. Not as dark as I expected. Huge nose of caramel, lemongrass, hazelnut, butterscotch, limestone, and a tad of tropical fruit. Pallet of limestone, mineral, butterscotch, vanilla, citrus. Great balance. Perfect blend of fruit, mineral and acid. Sad this is our last bottle, but glad that we drank this now. Still could last a year or two, but can't imagine it'll be better than this. (2557 views)
 Tasted by shaferguy91 on 3/5/2005 & rated 93 points: 1998 Kistler-Vine Hill Chard
An outstanding chardonnay. Still youthful with no signs of passing peak. SG93 (3307 views)
 Tasted by Anonymous on 6/17/2003 & rated 94 points: Dark yellow color. Lemony custard, minerally and rich, but with good acidity. Quite refreshing and sleek for its size. (2661 views)
 Tasted by Anonymous on 7/29/2002 & rated 94 points: Much better than my recent other Kistler Chards. Less overtly oaky, with good fruit and minerals. Weighty and long on the palate, with quite adequate acidity. Perhaps I've been aging my Kistler Chards too long? Drinking great now! (2655 views)
 Tasted by Anonymous on 3/25/2001 & rated 93 points: Dark yellow gold in color. Viscous and thick. Nice nose of tropical fruits and spice. Very big and complex on the palate. Oaky, but tons of fruit for back-up. Kalaidiscopic finish was came and went in waves. Will be awesome, but a bit disjointed right now. Give it time. (2600 views)
 Only displaying the 25 most recent notes - click to see all notes for this wine...

Professional 'Channels'
By Stephen Tanzer
Vinous, May/June 2001, IWC Issue #96
(Kistler Vineyards Chardonnay Vine Hill Road Vineyard Russian River Valley) Subscribe to see review text.
By Richard Jennings
RJonWine.com (5/6/2008)
(Kistler Chardonnay Vine Hill Vineyard) Light medium orange color with golden lights; buttery, sweet lemon, lemon candy nose; sweet butter, oxidized, tangy palate; medium finish  90 points
NOTE: Scores and reviews are the property of Vinous and RJonWine.com. (manage subscription channels)

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Producer website


Chardonnay on Appellation America

Vine Hill Vineyard

On weinlagen-info


WineAmerica (National Association of American Wineries) | Free the Grapes!


California Wines (Wine Institute of California)

California is one of the most diverse wine regions in the world, with almost 100 grape varieties grown in over 100 viticultural areas, including dozens of ­different microclimates and soil types, as well as a very individualistic set of ­winemakers, many with international experience, which adds to and deepens that diversity.

Sonoma County

Sonoma County Vintners

Russian River Valley

Russian River Valley Winegrowers Association | Wikipedia

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