White Wines    Other White Blends    Other California    California   
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Date Printed: 4/27/2015
Conundrum White Blend 2006
Conundrum White Blend 2006
(search item no. 93234)
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Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
PRICE ON 4/27/2015: $22.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 89 points
2010 Wine Enthusiast rating: 87 points
2007 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

The "puzzle" of Conundrum lies partly in guessing the range of grape varieties used, because its exact composition is never revealed!

To create the layered flavors that go into the Conundrum blend, Sauvignon Blanc grapes were brought in from the Napa Valley, Muscat Canelli from Tulare County on the Central Coast, and Chardonnay and Viognier from Conundrum's vineyards in Monterey County.

About one quarter of the wine lots were fermented in stainless steel in order to preserve their individual fruit characteristics. The remaining lots were fermented in a combination of new and seasoned oak barrels for up to ten months.

Conundrum 2006 exhibits soft tropical notes of guava and cherimoya, also peach and honeysuckle. The rich perfume is supported by concentrated and focused layers of peach and apricot nectar, pear and green melon with spicy vanilla notes. The creamy texture and balanced acidity carries through the palate for a long finish.

My Notes:

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About Conundrum:

It was the summer of 1989, a year ripe with possibilities and promise. All around the globe, old ways of thinking were giving way to new ideas. In the culinary world, traditional dishes were being reinvented by a generation of chefs who were open to the possibility of exploring adventurous new cuisine. At Caymus, we were similarly inspired to break free of the norm and began to redefine white wine. And in 1989, Conundrum was born.

From our very first vintage we were determined to make a dramatically different white-wine blend that would surpass the scope of single-varietal wines. Just as chefs were exploring the fusion of flavors from classic to contemporary, from east to west, often combining savory, spicy, herbal and fruity flavors in one dish, we explored how non-traditional combinations of grape varietals would work together. We wanted each varietal to be distinctive but still complementary to blend as a whole. After experimenting with eleven different white wines, we chose a select few that we consider the 'key ingredients'. For over twenty years we have continued to perfect the fine art of blending a 'conundrum' of varietals together, to create a remarkably complex, yet harmonious symphony of flavors. More recently we adapted the same approach for the Conundrum Red blend creation when we released the first vintage in 2011.

To make each wine even more complex, we take great care in keeping each parcel of fruit separate throughout the entire winemaking process. As a result, when the time comes to blend the wine, we have a lot of diversity in aromas, flavors and textures to work with. That's when the creative juices begin to flow. The proportions of each varietal vary slightly each vintage, as Mother Nature hands us new "ingredients." But our goal is always the same: a highly styled, complex and delicious wine that is excellent as an apéritif and pairs beautifully with the wide-ranging, global dishes we are eating as chefs and home cooks experiment with new, cutting-edge cuisine.



White Wines    Other White Blends    Central Coast    California   
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Date Printed: 4/27/2015
Big House White Blend 2008
Big House White Blend 2008
(search item no. 98679)
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Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 4/27/2015: $11.29

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2009 Wine Spectator rating: 87 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2004 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points

Winemaker's Notes:

A blend of 56% Malvasia Bianca, 22% Muscat Canelli, 18% Viognierand 4% Rousanne.

Big House wines are a rebellious mix of nontraditional grape varieties destined to give the imbiber a new experience. This year's tipple is reminiscent of the Franco-Italian battle for the '06 FIFA World Cup. The flamboyant Italians represented by Malvasia and Muscat Canelli and the much more austere and serious French led by Viognier and Rousanne.

My Notes:

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About Big House:

The Big House wines were born of the notion that the California climate is quite hospitable to the rollicking, sun loving grapes of Mediterranean France, Italy and Spain. Big House has found that by blending, rather than relying upon a single variety, they can create far more complex, rich wines that elegantly match a very wide variety of cuisine, from pizza, to BBQ ribs to roast chicken.


White Wines    Sauvignon Blanc    Chile    South America   
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Date Printed: 4/27/2015
Los Vascos Sauvignon Blanc 2008
Los Vascos Sauvignon Blanc 2008
(search item no. 96959)
Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
PRICE ON 4/27/2015: $10.49

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2014 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2013 James Suckling rating: 90 points
2012 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2011 International Wine Cellar rating: 87 points
2010 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2009 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 88 points
2007 Wine Enthusiast rating: 90 points
2006 Wine Enthusiast rating: 89 points
2006 Wine & Spirits rating: 89 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 89 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

This Sauvignon Blanc is clear with nice green reflections. The nose has the traditional aromas of Sauvignon Blanc, which are particularly expressive and typical: boxwood, gorse and exotic fruit (pineapple and lime). In the mouth, it is fresh, very juicy and balanced with good persistence. The grapes from Casablanca and Leyda bring minerals to the wine as well as elegance.
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About Los Vascos:

Los Vascos traces its roots to approximately 1750 and to the original vineyard of Miguel Echenique. The vineyard passed down through the family throughout the succeeding centuries.

The acquisition of 50% of Los Vascos by Rothschild (Lafite) in 1988 was the result of a careful search among more than one hundred Chilean wines for one that could meet their criteria for excellence. A team of winemakers from Domaine Barons de Rothschild (Lafite) control the viticulture, harvest, maceration, fermentation and aging of the wines at Los Vascos. Strict control of yields from the estate and adherence to the winemaking techniques of Chateau Lafite result in wines of high quality, whose characteristics do not escape connoisseurs. All production is estate bottled.