Kongsgaard Chardonnay Napa Valley 2011

Winemaker's Notes:

93-95 points Stephen Tanzer (International Wine Cellar): Full bright yellow-gold. Knockout nose combines lemon, peach, hazelnut and smoky lees. Then tighter in the mouth than the open nose suggests, showing superb density and snap and a compellingly tactile texture. Finishes with electric acidity and sneaky palate-staining persistence. This will need patience. Kongsgaard adds a bit of SO2 to his wines to retard the malolactic fermentations but then does not add any more again until after the following vintage, in an attempt 'to allow everything that's going to oxidize to oxidize.' This, he says, gives his wines a nutty, leesy, aldehytic character, often with the early gunpowder quality of the wines of Coche-Dury. He practices 'a fairly aggressive lees stirring regimen,' explaining that the lees essentially fine the wine. (May/Jun 2013)

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Kongsgaard Wine:
Fifth-generation Napa natives John and Maggy Kongsgaard produce The Judge, Chardonnay, VioRous, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Shy-bearing vineyards and traditional low-intervention winemaking techniques produce powerful, graceful wines — high intensity expressions of vineyard and variety. The core of their endeavor is the ten-acre vineyard they planted in the late 1970s on a rocky hilltop in so... Read more
Fifth-generation Napa natives John and Maggy Kongsgaard produce The Judge, Chardonnay, VioRous, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Shy-bearing vineyards and traditional low-intervention winemaking techniques produce powerful, graceful wines — high intensity expressions of vineyard and variety. The core of their endeavor is the ten-acre vineyard they planted in the late 1970s on a rocky hilltop in southern Napa Valley which has belonged to the Kongsgaard family since the 1920s. In addition to these family acres, they direct the farming under long-term contract on another seven acres in the Napa Carneros and three acres near St. Helena. The winery, on the eastern rim of Napa Valley, is a cave drilled into the volcanic rock. Production is limited to what they can make with their own hands. Read less

93-95 points Stephen Tanzer (International Wine Cellar): Full bright yellow-gold. Knockout nose combines lemon, peach, hazelnut and smoky lees. Then tighter in the mouth than the open nose suggests, showing superb density and snap and a compellingly tactile texture. Finishes with electric acidity and sneaky palate-staining persistence. This will need patience. Kongsgaard adds a bit of SO2 to his wines to retard the malolactic fermentations but then does not add any more again until after the following vintage, in an attempt 'to allow everything that's going to oxidize to oxidize.' This, he says, gives his wines a nutty, leesy, aldehytic character, often with the early gunpowder quality of the wines of Coche-Dury. He practices 'a fairly aggressive lees stirring regimen,' explaining that the lees essentially fine the wine. (May/Jun 2013)

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