Critical Acclaim


Issue 240, December 2018

Wines tasted from barrel are scored in parenthesis:

2017 Kongsgaard Chardonnay The Judge Napa Valley
A barrel sample, the 2017 Chardonnay The Judge leaps from the glass with notions of key lime pie, lemon peel, fresh pineapple and pink grapefruit plus suggestions of chalk dust, allspice and jasmine. Full-bodied with laser-like precision, the creamy textured palate is well-poised by a racy line of freshness, and it finishes very long and very minerally. (97-100) points

2017 Kongsgaard Chardonnay Napa Valley
Coming from the Hudson and Hyde vineyards, the barrel sample of 2017 Chardonnay opens with notes of lemon drops, lime cordial and fresh grapefruit with hints of fresh ginger, toasted almonds, honeysuckle and mandarin peel. Full-bodied and super tight-knit with amazing freshness and layers of densely packed citrus flavors, the finish is epically long and a zesty. Wow. (94-96+) points

2017 Kongsgaard Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
A barrel sample, the 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon has a deep garnet-purple color and opens with red and black currants, black cherries and black raspberries with hints of roses and lilacs plus notes of cinnamon stick and underbrush. Medium to full-bodied with firm, chewy tannins, it has a good intensity and red and black fruit characters and a savory finish.(91-93) points

2017 Kongsgaard The Fimasaurus Napa Valley
A barrel sample, the 2017 The Fimasaurus is blended of 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon co-fermented. Medium to deep garnet-purple colored, it sings of Black Forest cake, red roses and black tea with hints of bay leaves, damp soil and pencil lead. The palate is medium to full-bodied with plush tannins and great expression, finishing long and lifted. (92-94) points

2017 Kongsgaard Syrah Napa Valley
A barrel sample, the deep purple-black colored 2017 Syrah Hudson Vineyard offers black cherries, raspberries, crushed blackberries and tar with hints of anise and a waft of wild thyme. Medium to full-bodied and packed with perfumed fruit, it has lovely rounded tannins and great freshness, finishing long. (94-96) points

The following wines were tasted from bottle:

2016 Kongsgaard Chardonnay The Judge Napa Valley
Bottled in June 2018, the 2016 Chardonnay The Judge opens a little reticently with slowly unfurling notions of lime leaves, yuzu and freshly squeezed lemons with notes of honeyed white peaches and crème brûlée followed by crushed rocks, lemongrass and praline plus a waft of peach blossoms. Full-bodied with fantastic richness and so many layers, the classic The Judge savoriness comes through in spades in the mid-palate with a seductively silken texture and epically long, mineral and spice-tinged finish. 100 points

2016 Kongsgaard Chardonnay Napa Valley
Bottled in June 2018, the 2016 Chardonnay opens with decadent nectarine, spiced pears and apple pie scents with hints of lemon tart, orange blossoms and candied ginger plus a waft of marzipan. Full-bodied and rich, with a lovely satiny texture, it has a seamless line of freshness and tons of citrus and stone layers on the finish. 97 points

2016 Kongsgaard Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley
Blended of 80% Cabernet Sauvignon and 20% Merlot, the deep garnet-purple colored 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon opens with exuberant chocolate-covered cherries, warm plums and cassis with touches of tilled soil, lavender, pencil shavings and tobacco plus a waft of cloves. Medium to full-bodied, the palate has firm, wonderfully fine-grained tannins and layers of black and blue fruits, finishing long and earthy. 95 points

2016 Kongsgaard The Fimasaurus Napa Valley
Comprised of 50% Merlot and 50% Cabernet Sauvignon co-fermented, the deep garnet-purple colored 2016 The Fimasaurus gives up notes of crushed blackcurrants, red and black plums and kirsch with hints of tilled soil, lilacs, forest floor and spice box. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is packed with fragrant red and black fruit layers and a velvety frame, finishing long and layered. 96+ points

2016 Kongsgaard Syrah Napa Valley
Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2016 Syrah Hudson Vineyard comes charging forth with perfumed black berries, chocolate-covered cherries, mulberries and blueberry preserves with touches of violets, scorched earth and smoked meats. Full-bodied, rich, spicy and decadent, it has a firm yet plush frame and very long, layered finish. 98+ points

2017 Kongsgaard Viognier Napa Valley
This is a new label of 100% Viognier. Bottled in June 2018, the 2017 Viognier leaps out of the glass with gregarious ripe peaches, poached pears and aniseed scents with hints of potpourri, white pepper, gingerbread and brine. Full-bodied, the satin-textured palate features amazing freshness cutting through the densely packed stone fruit and baking spice flavors, finishing long and perfumed. 94 points

2017 Kongsgaard Albariño Napa Valley
The 2017 Albariño did not see any malolactic fermentation and was bottled in June 2018. It opens with intense Golden Delicious apples, white peaches and lemon curd notes with hints of orange peel, wet slate, honeycomb and lemongrass. Medium to full-bodied, the palate gives wonderful intensity and energy with a lively line of freshness cutting through the intense apple and stone fruit layers with a long, chalky finish. 94 points