Kistler 2017 Cuvee Cathleen Chardonnay - rare new release. 96+ Points Robert Parker: "Winemaker Jason Kesner points out that this is not a barrel selection but a separate block in the vineyard with unique soils of broken shale and red volcanic ash. The 2017 Chardonnay Cuvée Cathleen is youthfully shy on the nose, opening very slowly to notes of dried apple, potpourri, hints of key lime pie and sliced apricot with accents of spring honey, toast and wet stone. Medium-bodied, the aromas bely the palate—it explodes with multilayered flavors ranging from tangy citrus to honeycomb and earthy notions of dried leaves, seamlessly framed by juicy acidity and silkily textured, finishing very long and packed with flavor. "To me, this has several distinct parts of its personality, like gears with teeth," says Kesner. "This hits on all the classic points you look for in a beautifully made California Chardonnay: it's got a nice low pH, that sense of richness, textural complexity and high tones. It's not pervasive, not in your face, not cloying. It has a sense of minerality and a savory component. When all those things become one and they start to blur together and you can’t pick them out—that’s when a wine becomes truly magical to me." Well done!" ..the single-vineyard wines all represent much smaller quantities of wine. There have been several noticeable changes in the Kistler wines over the last few years, as they are certainly picking the Pinot Noir at an earlier date and going for less extraction, more fragrance and delicacy. The Chardonnays are still powerful wines but they have backed off the new oak to about 40%. (About 10 years ago, it was around 60%.) Other than that they are still potent and rich Chardonnays that are meant to be drunk in their first 4-6 years of life. It is my experience that aging Kistler wine has not been generally as successful as I would have hoped.."