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Categorized | California, Red Wine, White Wine


cb7f2ad4d8 KONGSGAARD

The annual Kongsgaard Wine release begins today. To order online, please click our website link below.


Dear Friends of Kongsgaard Wine,
We are pleased to offer you the splendid 2008s. This vintage is a kind of watershed year for us. After making wine professionally for 29 years, we finally found ourselves living at our winery. This was the dream when we were college kids – a ranch in the hills where we could live, grow grapes, and make our wine. There is something about rolling out of bed and walking over to the cave to push the cap down into the fermenting Syrah and Cabernet. We have always been fanatical about attending to the winemaking details, and in 2008 this became dramatically easier, as we were literally living with the young wines.
Thanks for your interest in Kongsgaard Wine. Please note that we do not hold allocations for individuals, and orders are accepted in the order in which they are received. Please respond quickly, as the wines will sell out. For assistance call 707-226-2190.
John and Maggy Kongsgaard

Kongsgaard The Judge Chardonnay 2008 Napa Valley hails entirely from our rocky, shy-bearing hilltop east of the town of Napa, which John’s grandfather originally intended to use for his stone quarry. The vines have been fighting it out with the rocks in these fields for over 30 years and have found their equilibrium at just over one ton per acre. This incredible vineyard is now completely in the groove, producing its tiny crop of intensely flavorful miniature clusters of golden fruit. The aroma of the 2008 Judge ramps up from the lovely citrus zest, typical of this vineyard, to the scent of orange marmalade and honey. The amazing persistence of the finish causes the flavor of roasted almonds and honeyed nectar to linger on the palate longer than any previous vintage. We attribute to the very long fermentation an uncanny impression of energy expressed by the vibrant combination of high-tone stone fruit aroma and an almost fierce, palate-saturating minerality. $175/bottle, 400 cases produced.
Kongsgaard Chardonnay 2008 Napa Valley is grown in the two great Carneros vineyards of Lee Hudson and Larry Hyde that we have used since our first vintage 14 years ago. The fresh Chardonnay juice goes into new French barrels for fermentation right after whole-cluster pressing and is not inoculated with cultured yeast. In both the 2008 Napa Chardonnay and the Judge, it took our indigenous yeast 18 months to do their work, and the results of the longest fermentations in our history are truly astonishing. The poetry and the science of winemaking begin to merge here: can yeast really be heroic or even Homeric? I think so. The long fermentation helps us reach our objective of shifting the fruitiness of the wine to the horizon of perception, allowing the minerality to come into the foreground. Like the 2001 and 2005, which also had the pleasure of fermentations exceeding one year, the 2008 has the aroma of poached pear, orange blossom, and roasted almonds. The full-bodied, layered finish is focused by great acidity. At the time of Robert Parker’s annual visit in the fall of 2009, the 2008 Chardonnays were still fermenting in barrel and hence not ready for tasting in time for publication. $75/bottle, 1200 cases produced.
Kongsgaard Cabernet Sauvignon 2008 Napa Valley is an extraordinary blend of two vineyards: our vineyard in Napa and Abreu’s in St. Helena. These vineyards reflect John’s obsession with making wine from the best clonal selections from both Bordeaux and the historic vineyards in Napa Valley. The low yields of the 2008 Cabernet produced wines with intense concentration. We enjoy the character of blueberries and brown sugar in this vintage which carry on through the sumptuous mid-pallet and the long layered finish. Parker found “dark fruits, hints of espresso roast, and chocolate, and sweet tannins.” He thinks it should “drink beautifully for 10-15 years.” The wine is fermented in small, two-ton fermenters, punched down by hand and moved to new Bordeaux barrels after an extensive maceration. As in Bordeaux, we follow the tradition of 22 months of barrel ageing prior to bottling. $150/bottle, 300 cases produced.
Kongsgaard Syrah 2008 Napa Valley upholds our tradition of making what Parker calls “one of the most idiosyncratic and distinctive Syrahs from California.” We have four acres of vines on volcanic soil at the Hudson ranch which we thin to one cluster per shoot, to create a wine that finds its soul mates in the Hermitage district of the Northern Rhone. The opaque, blue/black color of our 2008 foretells the lavish concentration of cassis, licorice, black pepper, and wild game flavors. Parker found the 2008 to “exhibit plenty of blueberry, creosote, charcoal, black fruit, smoked meat, and lard notes offered in a dense, rich full-bodied format.” (Does this make you hungry?!) He thought this “exotic, smoky, thick Syrah should drink beautifully for 10-15 years.” The Syrah ferments in open-top 120-gallon French barrels, which hold just one half ton each. We tread on the uncrushed fruit at the beginning of the fermentation and then submerge the cap into the wine by hand several times each day over the next four weeks to gently extract the color and flavor. $150/bottle, 400 cases produced.
Kongsgaard VioRous 2009 Napa Valley is made from six rows of Viognier and Roussanne in the middle of the Judge Vineyard, along with a half ton of Viognier from the Hudson Ranch in Carneros. In 2009 we made the typical six barrels of this elixir. This is the only wine we make with just one year of barrel ageing because we know that the deeply hedonistic quality of this wine is maximized by early bottling. We make this wine exclusively in older barrels, so the wood does not interfere with the ethereal freshness. Parker consistently describes the VioRous as “the best white Rhone Ranger made north of San Francisco.” An interesting theme has developed in his reviews of several recent vintages: he likens the VioRous to sexy women. The past three vintages have been described as “Marilyn Monroe in her prime, dressed in a chic Chanel suit,” “sexy, full-bodied and hedonistic,” and “a white wine hussy.” The 2009 is an exuberant contribution to this tradition of outrageously full-flavored wines. $75/bottle, 120 cases produced.

Thank you,
John and Maggy Kongsgaard

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