International Wine Cellar | 94
($75; racked in the spring of 2004 for the first time and bottled 20 months after the harvest) Wild, gamey aromas of dried fruits, honey, smoke, truffle and nuts. Less fruit-driven and more minerally in the mouth than the younger 2003, with terrific fat and depth. Here the acids have been integrated into the wine. With aeration, this wine showed hints of exotic fruits as well as firmer notes of lemon and grapefruit. "During the wine's second year in barrel, we get rid of the primary fruit and get down to the bones of the wine," says Kongsgaard. Not surprisingly, last year I described the then-unfinished 2002 as a fruit bomb and noted that the bottled 2001 was more minerally in character! Distinctly tannic on the finish. A wine of vendange tardive-like texture and ripeness.
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Billy the Kid
Drink Dates: 2005-2012
Drink Dates: 2005-2009
The grapes for this wine comes from Kongsgaard?s estate vineyard in the hills east of the city of Napa as well as from the Hyde and Hudson Vineyards located in Carneros. The wine is barrel fermented in new French oak using wild yeast and the lees are stirred weekly during the wine?s upbringing. In 2002, remarkably the wine?s fermentation lasted 14 months. It is not fined or filtered before it is put in bottle. The 2002 has a light to medium gold color with honey, wood, and pineapple aromas. Finely crafted and powerful fruit allayed with some pleasing stone and mineral overtones. Excellent length tasting of sweet oak and gobs of deftly rendered tropical fruit flavors. Extremely fine. Although the 2002 drinks very well now, Kongsgaard?s chardonnays can age ? I just finished off my last bottle of 1998 and it was still going strong.