||1997 Kistler McCrea Vineyard Chardonnay - 92-94 pts! The 1997 Chardonnay McCrea Vineyard, made from an old Wente clone, personifies this varietal's lemony, buttery, citrusy, mineral style. It offers medium to full body, splendid concentration, considerable richness and texture on the mid-palate, and gorgeous elegance, purity, and overall balance. Tangy acidity gives the wine admirable freshness. It should age well for 5-7 years. Steve Kistler believes the 1997 Chardonnays are among the finest he has ever produced. The vintage's high yields do not appear to have had an impact on the wines' level of concentration and intensity. Moreover, the 1997's possess an atypical level of tangy, underlying acidity, giving the wines a wonderful vibrancy. The splendid aromatics are matched only by the 1995's. I tasted 8 Chardonnays. While they share a certain similarity, they posssess distinctive attributes that justify the winery's decision to differentiate them. All are fermented with both indigenous and commercial yeasts, given extensive stirring during prolonged contact with the lees, and bottled unfiltered after full malolactic fermentation. The percentage of new French oak varies, with higher percentages for the Camp Meeting Ridge, Hudson, and Cuvee Cathleen offerings.