Wednesday, April 19, 2023

Kistler Les Noisetiers Sonoma Coast Chardonnay at Emerils Coastal

Kistler Les Noisetiers Sonoma Coast Chardonnay at Emeril's Coastal Restaurant, Sandestin, Miramar Beach

Visiting the Florida Gulf shores for a getaway week, we had a delightful, delicious dinner at Emeril's Coastal Seafood restaurant in Sandestin Grand Boulevard in Miramar Beach.

For diiner, we shared the daily fresh seafood catch, whole pan seared Grouper, and for starters we had roasted oysters and the special cheese plate. 

The Emeril's Coastal Cheese Board consisted of  Four Artisanal Cheeses with accompaniments - home-made multi-berry jam, fresh honey comb, fresh berries, nuts and baguettes: 

  • Thomasville Tomme French
  • Humboldt Fog
  • Talcggio
  • Roque Smoked Blue

Fresh Oysters from Murder Point and Admiral, Alabama

The Fresh Catch of the day was pan seared whole Grouper with asparagus spears in a muniere sauce.


We selected from the winelist this ultra-premium Sonoma Coast Chardonnay.

 Kistler “Les Noisetiers” Chardonnay Sonoma Coast, California 2020

Kistler is a family-owned and operated winery founded in 1978 by Steve Kistler and the Kistler family. From the beginning it has been dedicated to the production of ultra-premium Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, using old-world Burgundian techniques applied to new world vineyards. 

Kistler wines are crafted from one heritage Californian selection of Chardonnay clone vines planted across fifteen vineyards, from Carneros to Sonoma Valley, to the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast. Kistler's plantings on Sonoma Mountain are some of the oldest Chardonnay plantings in Sonoma County.

They have been working with and on this singular clone of Chardonnay since the mid 1980’s. It was originally sourced from vines imported from Burgundy in the early part of the 20th century. It have been developed by California farmers and winemakers over decades to be best suited to the Californian terroir and growing conditions.  

From the fifteen vineyard sites Kistler produce eleven different vineyard designated select Chardonnays.  

This cuvee is an appellation-focused wine designed to the regional character of western Sonoma County, highlighting mineral tones from vineyards with sandy soils. The wine was originally crafted exclusively for restaurants but is now available in retail stores on a limited basis. It has rich, complex smoky aromas, intense fruit flavors underpinned with toasty oak, and crisp acidity with a long, lingering finish.

This label, Les Noisetiers (pronounced Lay Nwaz-tee-yay) is a study of Kistler's Sonoma Coast sites. The name refers to the toasted hazelnut characters that is manifest year in and year out from these sites. This cuvee is an appellation-focused Chardonnay. explicitly produced to illustrate the site and area specific regional character of western Sonoma County highlighting inherent mineral tones from thirty year old vineyards with sandy Gold Ridge soils. The main sources are the Vine Hill Vineyard, Dutton Ranch and Trenton Roadhouse vineyards.

Golden straw colored, medium-full bodied, complex yet elegant, polished and balanced layers of juicy peach and pear fruits with hints of apricot and white flowers, turning to a mineral backbone with stone fruits on a long sumptuous finish. 

RM 93-94 points. 
Winemaker notes: The grapes are whole-cluster pressed into 30% new French oak for fermentation via indigenous yeast. It was bottled unfined and unfiltered after 10 months in barrel. From the winery: "Deep green-yellow. A pronounced and refined sense of minerality pierces through the initial first blush of stone fruit on the nose. Wet stone, powdered sea sand, and a slight sense of roasted grain. Perfectly balanced, the core is packed with grilled citrus, a touch of lemongrass and threaded with a vibrant acidity that reverberates across the palate. Possesses a lively, yet elegant finish that just doesn’t want to end.
After thoughtful selection at the sorting table, whole clusters are fed by hand directly into the press. An extremely gentle 2-hour Champagne program is used to produce the best juice with the finest solids. The juice is consolidated in tank and then, without cold settling, is transferred directly to barrel with its fine lees. Driven solely by naturally occurring yeasts, the wine is barrel-fermented. Kistler Chardonnay fermentation temperatures are warm by California standards, but very much like Burgundy was made 20 years ago. The wine is fermented bone-dry. After a complete malolactic fermentation, the wine sees 11 months of barrel age with no battonage. The wine spends an additional 3 months in tank before being bottled without fining or filtration. There is a smaller percentage of new oak used on the Les Noisetiers in order to highlight the soil-driven character of this wine. This minerality is rare in new world Chardonnay.