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Kongsgaard Chardonnay 2015

Chardonnay from Napa Valley, California
  • WS94
0% ABV
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Winemaker Notes

This wine will delight with its vibrant acidity, vivid aromas, and astonishing array of flavors from both the plant and mineral kingdoms. It hails from the Hudson and Hyde vineyards near the Bay in the coolest part of Napa Valley and reminds us of some of the most delicious Burgundies. Tasting from barrel, Galloni found "candied lemon peel and white flowers" in "the exquisite, nuanced finish." Parker found it "incredibly concentrated," and "reminiscent of truly profound Grand Cru Burgundy."

Critical Acclaim

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WS 94
Wine Spectator
Well-oaked and very rich, casting a smoky, toasty aura, turning to butterscotch flavors that hang with you through the finish. An exceptional example of this style. Drink now through 2022.
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Kongsgaard

Kongsgaard

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Kongsgaard, California
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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.
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Napa Valley

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One of the world's most highly regarded regions for wine production as well as tourism, the Napa Valley was responsible for bringing worldwide recognition to California winemaking. In the 1960s, a few key wine families settled the area and hedged their bets on the valley's world-class winemaking potential—and they were right.

The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980s, when producers scooped up vineyard lands and planted vines throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, and today Napa is home to hundreds of producers ranging from boutique to corporate. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux blends. Napa whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.

Within the Napa Valley lie many smaller sub-AVAs that claim specific characteristics based on situation, slope and soil. Farthest south and coolest from the influence of the San Pablo Bay is Carneros, followed by Coombsville to its northeast and then Yountville, Oakville and Rutherford. Above those are the warm St. Helena and the valley's newest and hottest AVA, Calistoga. These areas follow the valley floor and are known generally for creating rich, dense, complex and smooth reds with good aging potential. The mountain sub appellations, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs, include Stags Leap District, Atlas Peak, Chiles Valley (farther east), Howell Mountain, Mt. Veeder, Spring Mountain District and Diamond Mountain District. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from a lot of time in the bottle to evolve and soften.

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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 is grown and how it is made. While practically every country in the wine producing world grows it, Chardonnay from its Burgundian homeland produces some of the most remarkable and longest lived examples. As far as cellar potential, white Burgundy rivals the world’s other age-worthy whites like Riesling or botrytized Semillon. California is Chardonnay’s second most important home, where both oaky, buttery styles and leaner, European-inspired wines enjoy great popularity. Oregon, Australia and South America are also significant producers of Chardonnay.

In the Glass

When planted on cool sites, Chardonnay flavors tend towards grapefruit, lemon zest, green apple, celery leaf and wet flint, while warmer locations coax out richer, more tropical flavors of melon, peach and pineapple. Oak can add notes of vanilla, coconut and spice, while malolactic fermentation imparts a soft and creamy texture.

Perfect Pairings

Chardonnay is as versatile at the table as it is in the vineyard. The crisp, clean, Chablis-like styles go well with flaky white fish with herbs, scallops, turkey breast and soft cheeses. Richer Chardonnays marry well with lobster, crab, salmon, roasted chicken and creamy 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. In Burgundy, the subregion of Chablis, while typically employing the use of older oak barrels, produces a similar bright and acid-driven style. Anyone who doesn't like oaky Chardonnay would likely enjoy its lighter style.

STC406910_2015 Item# 372462