That feeling of trying a wine and feeling speechless resonates with me. One of the great wines of the world, John Kongsgaard produces some of the best Chardonnay in Napa. I had the chance to meet him a year ago and chat wine. A downright awesome and highly personable guy, John’s family has remarkably lived in the Napa area since the 1840s. John’s grandfather owned a stone quarry in Napa and John’s father was a Napa County Superior Court judge for more than twenty years.
Following graduating high school in the late 1960’s John completed the famed UC Davis masters in enology and viticulture program. For a short time he worked at the Stony Hill winery in Napa and then worked for at Newton Vineyards as the winemaker from 1983 to 1996. John also studied under eminent wine consultant Michel Rolland. He has a Burgundian feel to all his wines and has indicated that Michel Rolland had a profound influence in his style of winemaking. In 2004 John bought a 150 acre parcel of land on Atlas Peak where vines planted sit at as far up as 2500 feet. His property has a mere five acres planted to Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Rousanne and Viognier.
I have had the great pleasure in reviewing the past three Kongsgaard Chardonnay releases. Last years release, his 2014 Kongsgaard ‘Napa Valley’ Chardonnay (WWB, 97), was the highest rated North American Chardonnay that I have reviewed in more than two years. This years release, the 2015 Kongsgaard Chardonnay (WWB, 96) is nearly as good. The wine takes on an exotic range of aromatics and flavors — all leading to a minute-plus long finish. This extraordinary wine will cellar marvelously for decades. Learn more about this storied winery at http://www.kongsgaardwine.com Here is the new Chardonnay release by Kongsgaard.
2015 Kongsgaard Chardonnay- This seamless and memorable wine is a stunning follow up to the downright opulent 2014 Chardonnay bottling. The nose reminds me of vanilla creme brûlée, bright lemon crushed brioche and Pazzaz apple. The palate is exceedingly plush, while maintaining a wonderful tension towards the back. Creme brûlée, butterscotch, bananas foster and roasted pineapple complete this stunning wine. The Kongsgaard saves the best for last with a minute long, Meyer lemon cream driven finish. This is another astonishing wine made by superstar winemaker John Kongsgaard. Drink 2018-2030- 96