Kalin Cellars, Chardonnay Cuvée LV 1995
This was my last bottle out of a full case of Terry and Frances Leighton’s 1995 Cuvée LV Chardonnay, and it may well have been the best. Kalin Cellars’ wines are routinely spectacular, and it’s easy to enjoy them at maturity because the winery only releases them when they’re deemed ready to drink: in this case, with 20 years’ bottle age. Reminiscent of an old-style white Burgundy (think Vincent Leflaive-era Domaine Leflaive), this wine’s complex bouquet of orchard fruit, preserved citrus, wet rocks and subtle hazlenut is to die for. Expansive, textural and very elegant through the long and complex palate. I am not normally a great enthusiast for USA vs France tastings, but I once served this blind against DRC’s 2002 Montrachet and half the room preferred the Kalin.
Taster: William Kelley