May 22, 2015

KISTLER, Russian River Valley

A world renown icon. 


2013 Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley
Retail: $99.95 / bottle (12 btls/cs)


15 cases available 


Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate

If the Kistler winery could be transported to the middle of Burgundy’s Cote d’Or, it would quickly gain a reputation as glorious as any producer of Burgundy grand cru.


2013 Pinot Noir, RRV

Retail: $99.95 / bottle (12 btls/cs)

In yet another outstanding vintage Kistler flaunts its Pinot acumen, leaving other RRV neighbours to mire in a sickly, sweet and dusty trail of cola, syrup and black ash. Kistler's take is rooted in wisdom, in plenitude and also restraint. "We remove any berries that are overripe," announces Geoff Labitzke. This '12 is singing, pinging and binging in red cherry. Picked in the cool of the night with a big crew, the RRV Pinot is tart, tight, intense and pure...

94, Michael Godel, Wine Align (2012 Vintage)


A bit of Burgundy in the Russian River Valley

Kistler is undeniably one of the world’s greatest Chardonnay and Pinot Noir producers. The winery was established in 1978, when Steve Kistler and Mark Bixler planted the 30-acre Kistler Vineyard at 1750 feet on the Sonoma side of the Mayacamas Mountains.  The first vintage was 1979 — using fruit purchased from Warren Dutton.  Then, in 1992, a new, larger winery was built at their vineyard on Vine Hill Rd in the Russian River Valley.

In addition to estate vineyards, Kistler has always purchased fruit from a selection of impressive vineyards in Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma Mountain and Carneros.  In many cases, Kistler established the reputation of these vineyards, whose names are now famous.  Winemaking continues to evolve at Kistler.  In the 1980s & ‘90s, heritage clones of Chardonnay (Wente) & Pinot Noir (Calera, Swan) were propagated and selected to create unique clones for most of the Kistler sites.  In the early 2000s, whole-cluster pressing, native yeasts, minimal lees stirring, and less new oak were techniques adopted to preserve aromatics and achieve a fresher style.  Eliminating fining and filtration from the process has added complexity.  

By 2006, lower sugar levels at harvest were desired, leading to lower alcohol.  This is highly thoughtful, meticulous winemaking, intended to express the terroir of individual sites.  The wines, both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, continue to progress toward a more complex, age-worthy form, showing impressive finesse and energy. The 2013 Pinot Noir is a cuvée, the fruit for which is sourced from a number of Kistler’s prestigious vineyards.