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Kongsgaard Chardonnay 2002

Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
  • RP94
0% ABV
  • RP96
  • WS93
  • RP95
  • WS94
  • WS94
  • RP94
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Winemaker Notes

"Already complex, with tremendous opulence, it is made in an exuberant, in-your-face California style with abundant glycerin, flavor intensity, and alcohol. This extravagantly rich effort should be consumed during its first 5-6 years of life, whereas the 2001 is capable of lasting and evolving for a decade."
-Wine Advocate

Critical Acclaim

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RP 94
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
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Kongsgaard

Kongsgaard

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Kongsgaard, , California
Kongsgaard
Fifth-generation Napa natives, Maggy and John Kongsgaard began their endeavor in the 1970s planting The Judge vineyard on their family land near Napa. The inaugural Kongsgaard wines came in 1996. Now, Kongsgaard produces The Judge, Chardonnay, VioRous, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon in their underground winery—a cave dug into the volcanic rock, high on the eastern rim of the Napa Valley where they have planted a spectacular mountain vineyard. Kongsgaard also directs the farming under long-term contracts on several perfect acres in the Napa Carneros and near the winery. These intensely farmed, shy-bearing vineyards and Kongsgaard's traditional low-intervention winemaking produce powerful, graceful wines—vivid expressions of vineyard and variety. Production is limited to what Maggy and John, with their son Alex, can make with their own hands.

Australia

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A large, climatically diverse country producing just about every wine style imaginable, Australia is often misunderstood by consumers. It is not just a source of blockbuster Shiraz or inexpensive wine with cute critters on the label, though both can certainly be found here. It is impossible to make generalizations about a country this physically massive, but most regions are concentrated in the south of the country and experience either warm, dry weather, or more humid, tropical influence. Australia has for several decades been at the forefront of winemaking technology and has widely adopted the use of screwcaps, even for some premium and ultra-premium bottles.

Shiraz is indeed Australia’s most celebrated and widely planted variety, typically producing bold, supple reds with sweet, jammy fruit and performing best in the Barossa and Hunter Valleys. Cabernet Sauvignon is often blended with Shiraz, and also shines on its own particularly in Coonawarra and Margaret River. Grenache and Mourvèdre (often locally referred to as Mataro) are also popular, both on their own and alongside Shiraz in Rhône blends. Chardonnay is common throughout the country and made in a wide range of styles. Sauvignon Blanc has recently surged in popularity to compete with New Zealand’s distinctive version, and Semillon is often utilized as its blending partner, or in the Hunter Valley, on its own to make complex, age-worthy whites. Riesling thrives in the cool-climate Clare and Eden Valleys. Sticky-sweet fortified wine Rutherglen Muscat is a beloved regional specialty of Victoria. Thanks to the country’s relatively agreeable climate throughout and the openness of its people, experimentation is common and ongoing and there is a vast array of intriguing varieties to be found.

Chardonnay

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One of the most popular and versatile white wine grapes, Chardonnay offers a wide range of flavors and styles depending on where it’s grown and how it’s made. In Burgundy, Chardonnay produces some of the finest white wines in the world, typically tending towards minimal intervention in the winery and at its best resulting in remarkable longevity. This grape is popular throughout the world, but perhaps its second most important home is in California, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia, South America, South Africa, and New Zealand are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay’s flavors tend towards grapefruit, green apple, minerals, and white stone fruit, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of fig, melon, and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut, and spice (as well as texture), while malolactic fermentation can impart soft, buttery acidity.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with simple seafood, light chicken dishes, and salads. Richer Chardonnays marry well with cream or oil-based sauces.

Sommelier Secret

Since the 1990s, big, oaky, buttery Chardonnays from California have enjoyed explosive popularity. More recently, the pendulum has begun to swing in the opposite direction, towards a clean, crisp style that rarely utilizes new oak. These Old-World style wines have been dubbed the “New California Chardonnays,” and anyone who claims they do not like Chardonnay should give them a try.

NWL493275_2002 Item# 79158

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