2009 Kongsgaard - Chardonnay The Judge 750ml

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2009 Kongsgaard - Chardonnay The Judge
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International Wine Cellar | 96

Medium yellow. Nose begins a bit tropical and closed-in but aeration brings great lift from orange rind, lime and iodiney sea breeze. Billowing and weightless on entry, then builds inexorably in the middle palate, showing subtle salty and leesy nuances and powerful crushed-stone minerality. Kongsgaard bottles his chardonnays during the second June or July, when they're beyond the primary, tutti-frutti stage. This extremely backward wine finishes with outstanding grip, piquant citrus lift and great persistence. California chardonnay doesn't get any better than this--and very little Burgundy can equal it either.

Author: Stephen Tanzer
Issue: Issue 162

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About This Producer


Fifth-generation Napa natives John and Maggy Kongsgaard produce The Judge, Chardonnay, VioRous, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon. Low yielding vineyards and traditional low-intervention winemaking techniques produce powerful, graceful wines which are 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 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.

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