2008 Kongsgaard - Chardonnay The Judge 1.5L

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IWC 95   Collector 97
2008 Kongsgaard - Chardonnay The Judge Front View
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Professional Reviews For This Wine


International Wine Cellar | Rating: 95

Bright, pale yellow-green. Pungent flinty minerality, underripe apricot and brown spices on the nose. Plush and rich but with terrific cut and definition to the stone fruit flavors. Best today on the rising, extremely long finish, which displays almost salty acidity and a brisk grapefruit note. Kongsgaard believes that this wine has more fat to buffer its tannins than the 2008 Judge, and that it will be best for medium-term drinking.

Author: Josh Raynolds
Issue: Issue 156

Professional content appears courtesy of Vinfolio

Collector Reviews For This Wine


Rating: 98
Author: Kjartan
Trust Rating: 95
Tasted On: 11/22/2012

Rating: 98
Author: cochrane78
Trust Rating: 88
Tasted On: 01/08/2012

Rating: 95
Author: Anonymous Author
Trust Rating: 99
Tasted On: 07/10/2011
Drink Dates: 2011-2017
On the same night, drunk after his regular Cuvee. More of everything than his regular Chardonnay. Needs more time to develop the usual secondary flavors that The Judge is known for, like tropical fruits. Long finish.

Average rating: 95, based on 4 reviews

Collector Data For This Wine

3 bottles owned by 2 collectors.

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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.

Wine Varietal: Chardonnay


Arguably the best dry white wine grape out there, Chardonnay is grown all over the globe. In addition to being the backbone of fine white Burgundies, Chardonnay is also one of the three major grape varieties used in producing Champagne. Susceptible to a myriad of complications, Chardonnay berries are relatively small, thin-skinned, fragile, and oxidize easily. Chardonnay grapes can be sensitive to winemaking techniques and more difficult to handle from harvest to bottling than many other varieties. Some producers will use malolactic fermentation (where harsher malic acid is turned into softer lactic acid and carbon dioxide) to reduce crispness and acidity and add a creamy, buttery texture to wines. The "oaky" character of some Chardonnays comes from fermenting or aging which takes place in oak barrels. Once barrel-aged, Chardonnay may take on notes of vanilla or toast. While Chardonnay is produced worldwide, the best can be found in France, the United States, Argentina, Chile, Australia, Italy, New Zealand, and South Africa. Typical descriptors for Chardonnay include mineral, green apple, citrus, tropical fruits, vanilla, butter and smokiness.

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