#5 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2013
John Kongsgaard is at the top of the Chardonnay game in California, with wines that feature balance, grace and elegance. Refining his winemaking style over the years, he focuses on low yields and barrel fermenting with native yeasts. Kongsgaard, now with his son Alex by his side, lets this wine age in barrel for two years, which adds nuance and gives the wine a chance to settle naturally, so that it can be bottled unfiltered.
"A tour de force that stretches the range of flavors, rich and laden with roasted, smoky marshmallow, showing tiers of marmalade, tangerine, roasted fig and fig tapenade, sailing along seamlessly through the finish."
"Very bright yellow-gold, a bit less deep than the 2011. Expressive aromas of tangerine, hazelnutty lees and sexy oak. The palate boasts great richness and sweetness, with a wonderfully sappy character to its explosive soft citrus and stone fruit flavors. Comes across as sweeter than the 2011, but harmonious acidity gives it beautiful balance. The 2010s finished their alcohol fermentations up to 16 months after the vintage, later than the malos, noted Kongsgaard, adding that this has given them a lot of weight. But this wine finishes bright and very long, with a firm spine of acidity."
International Wine Cellar
"Kongsgaard’s 2010 Chardonnay wraps around the palate with juicy, yellow, fleshy fruit, smoke and spices. There is pungent, aromatic intensity in the bouquet of these old Wente Chardonnay clones that gives the wine its aromatic heft. Layers of fruit build to the textured, inviting finish. In another year, the oak should be even better integrated than it is today. "
Vinous / Antonio Galloni