For those of you who may have picked up the subtle hint that a glass of Chardonnay may not always be the first choice of your humble Wine Bargain Sleuth, feel free to award yourself bonus points. However, today the Sleuth may have just tasted the wine that was the tipping point on the magnificence of that classic white grape. Color me white, as in white wines made by Kistler and its proprietor Steve Kistler. Although I recently had the privilege to sample four Chards, including one cuvee and 3 single vineyard Chardonnays, without question the one that rang all the bells of my senses was the world-class Kistler McCrea Vineyard Chardonnay 2013. The 2013 Kistler McCrea beauty, blended from a Sonoma Mountain source, was truly reminiscent of a Burgundy Grand Cru, managing to be elegant, balanced, complex and absolutely thrilling all in one sip. With tones of muted lemon, fresh apples and a hint of creaminess, as well as the minerality that gives this Kistler beauty the complexity and a thrilling, lengthy finish, this Chard would pair impressively with boiled crab, roasted turkey or a zesty green salad. Still very young, the Kistler McCrea Vineyard Chardonnay is still very approachable today, particularly when paired with fresh goat cheese. The winery recommends cellaring this beauty for 4-8 years–that is, if you can resist popping that cork. No promises on this end. Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate bestowed a strong 94 on this white, which impressive mark was matched by Vinous. If you are in the market for a splurge, then search for this world-class white for your cellar. Cheers!