We enjoyed this last night with another couple and it was amazing! Yes, it's very pricey but it was on par, or superior, to Marcassin's, Marcassin Vineyard, which is my reference point for Cali Chards that get better with age. I'll be buying more when the 2012's are offered to the mailing list.
Wine Dinner at Collyer Catering In Westport, CT. (Collyer Catering): Super excited to try this for the first time and it did not disappoint. Awesome nose of ripe peach, orange marmalade, tropical fruit, stone and mineral. The wine was a full bodied Chardonnay but not too heavy or over-extracted in any way. This delivered flavors of butterscotch, marshmallow, tropical fruits with a touch of mineral on the long finish. Great acidity. One of the best Chardonnay's I have ever had.
Lets just say I was underwhelmed. I prefer older chardonnays. I would think that an expensive wine of this pedigree (burgundian style no less), would be alive and kicking - this was mature and a little tired. I can think a a dozen California chardonnays from this vintage that are just starting to peak, but not this one. The wine had a golden color and a slight hint of oxidation. I think it's fading fast. Probably best two years ago.
Not sure why I bought this wine from the winery (and stored at 58 degrees ever since).
One comment. This has to be the cheapest bottle option available. Not that it matters, but this is a $175 bottle of wine!
This was the fifth bottle of this wine I have had the pleasure of drinking. The best was about two years ago, and was memorable. This bottle was not nearly as good, and seemed clearly past its prime, but a poignant reminder of a great wine. If you have any, drink now.
At Recettte in NYC with Ray and CVA . Great meal, great staff and one of the few in NYC that are corkage friendly. Couldn't resist sharing this one.
Burgundian style Chardonnay from Calif that really pulls it off. Medium gold color, fragrant nose. Wine is very ripe now, rounds out after about 30 minutes. After it opens, it really kicks into that burgundian roundness, integrated with oak on the back palate.
This is very expensive wine, if you are up for treating yourself, its worth it. This particular bottle was among the best CA Chards I have tasted. Its outstanding now but has the stuffing to go for a while.
Burgundian style, but distinctly CA. Ripe, the oak is held well in check, beautiful balance, nice minerality, looong finish. Our CA Chardonnay fan "did not get it," which is all you need to know! Have not had enough of these to project, but my guess is that it will age like a top Burgundy.
Athens Wine Event, August 2012; 8/25/2012-8/26/2012 (Athens, Greece): would have opted to decant this. Big, lush and dense wine but has none of the overdone features that usually come with modern wines. The colour is dark honey much like an aged burgundy to start. On the nose it has meursault-esque notes, with fruit, minerality and light oak on the background ( a bit of alcohol notes too from the 14%+ ). Wonderful nose and we kept going back and back checking it over the 2 hours of the dinner. Vibrant and lush on the palate, with a touch of glycerin density, mineral and very complex. This is a superb wine. Great to drink now but def has the stuffing to evolve more. 96+
Wow1 What a power! My tasting buddies had this fown as a Montrachet. I was pretty sure it was an american wine but I do not mean that in a negative way. This wine has a lot of class. Great fruit and complexity. Big big chardonnay. What it does not have though, is the minerality and elegance as a great Montrachet delivers. A top wine though.
I opened this and poured out a glass which seemed a bit tight. Recorked and stored overnight in the refrigerator. The next night it was absolutely wonderful-- golden color, rich nose, slightly vanilla on the palate and strong finish. This is just about as close to perfect as California Chardonnay can get and approaching the finesse of the very finest white Burgundies.
Pop and pour. In the glass, pale and relatively clear yellow-gold. On the nose, hints of apricot and lychee. On the palate, equal portions of lychee, pears, minerals, and oak, with a soft, creamy texture. The highlight of this wine is the texture; I would have gone higher with the score, but the oak is there, and became somewhat stronger as the night went on. Very nice chard, but not clear to me that it's worth the premium.
Line-up for my wife's b-day dinner at Providence on Melrose: 2005 Kongsgaard Chardonnay "The Judge", 2002 Marcassin Pinot Noir Blue Slide Ridge Vineyard, 2001 Dalla Valle Cabernet Sauvignon, 2000 Chateau Palmer Margaux, 2004 Futo Cabernet Sauvignon.
Served very cold out of an ice bucket, this smelled far less oaky than the only previous bottle of Kongsgaard Chardonnay I've ever had, but as it warmed the oakiness became more obvious. Finished hot (alcoholic), definitely not my cup of tea.
an extraordinary chardonnay, most notable for its finish which is creamy and log lasting with lychee nut and fruit elements. Nicely balanced between fruit and mineerality, with a strong stones element and acidity to balance the fruit. We loved it - but got it as a goft. Not sure it is worth the full price.
This is pretty good. Quite good, really. More restrained than the Napa - does not seem as overripe, and the oak seems less obvious, and there is real acidity and excellent minerality for a Cali chard. Really a more classical profile than the Napa, and all the better for it, to my taste. Worth what I paid for it? Yes, absolutely, but only in one sense. The next wine I drank was a fairly stunning little Peter Lauer Riesling for 20-something dollars. Couldn't be a more different wine, but in a way it takes drinking a 200-something dollar of good wine to really appreciate a 20-something bottle of great wine.
OMG. I had completely given up on any white wine ever approaching the Aubert Ritchie- now I have found it. Despite my skepticism regarding the price differential between the Judge and the "regular" cuvee, this was easily worth it (at least to me). Perfume roared out of the glass Completely filled the palate with every fruit imaginable (except lychee), enough minerality to satisfy even my Chablisienne biases. 4 hours after opening it was still perfect, even better perhaps at that that time point to the 04 Harlan we were tasting simultaneously, and I gave that 100. Can't say enough- amazing wine.
I've had the pleasure of drinking this wine a few times a year since release and each time it just gets better. Clean tropical fruit and stone compete for attention on the nose backed by hints of vanilla and toasted oak. Dense on the palate but still clean, crisp and mineral. Long distinctly lemon finish. This is Grand Cru CA chardonnay.
Oh so slight petrol nose. Probably the best chard ever tasted @ WWS. Incredible golden color, nutty complexity, huge nose. Minerality not associated with CA chards. A soft complex wine that is complete and not typical of CA over-oaked chardonnays. - DL, JO & WW.
Clear golden color. Slightly darker than the last bottle. The tropical flavors still dominate in the bouquet. In the mouth, the flavors are deepening a bit more towards the caramel range but with pineapple still noticeable on the palate. A great example of this wine. EG
An hour of decantation made a world of difference in the flarors of this bottle! A beautiful light golden yellow color. A bouquet of tropical friut, citrus and pineapple with a bit of aging secondary flavors, perhaps some caramel? The flavors match the bouquet with a touch of apricot. Age has a way of changing flavor that is so interesting! This wine gets better with age!
14.1% alcohol. Rich yellow color. Strikingly refined wine, starting with the nose: apple, pear, a touch of citrus zest, minerals, fig, and oak. In the mouth, such an elegant and concentrated wine. I think this had a lighter sensibility than the Rochioli, but it was no less powerful and compelling. Loaded with apple, pear, fig, and citrus notes, along with minerals and tremendous complexity. Good acidity. Endless finish that really helped this stand out. There was a kind of subtlety to the wine, a refined elegance. It was fantastic. A
a lot of ebobers rave about this, so i wanted to give it a go with my main tasting group. i know ks felt it was too warm, but i did not. it has more complexity than the napa, and more minerality, but not significantly so, and i certainly don't feel it is in the top tier of napa chardonnay, e.g. peter michael point rouge, kistler cuvee cathleen, or marcassin.
G7 (Jeff): Golden yellow color. Fresh cantaloupe on the nose. Tastes of pear, lime and melon. Nice freshness and acidity. The oak is much better integrated compared to the regular Chardonnay of the same year. A massive, full bodied wine. Rich with some heat on the powerful finish. I'm not sure why this wine garners such high praise by the critics and the folks on CT. It seems to be very manipulated and over the top. I assume just not my cup of tea.
The first bottle of this wine I tasted (December '07, no notes, sorry) was so outrageously over the top that I was shocked and vaguely horrified. A friend told me that Kongsgaard's chards needed some time to settle down. She was right. While this wine is still huge and young and over the top, it is no longer a complete freak.
Golden yellow color. Lemony citrus, with some vague creamy notes, and some coconut/tropical/pineapple/pear notes on the nose. It's hard to describe the taste -- it just seems to be a big BIG chardonnay, with great acidity, minerality and a bitter (in a good way) finish. Really, a remarkable wine. It had an extraordinary level of complexity that I normally associate only with the best white burgundies and/or champagnes that money can buy. While this wine would never be mistaken for a white burgundy, I find it to be a worthy competitor -- at least at this point of evolution -- even recognizing that white burgs, at their best, can age for long long years (assuming they're not oxidized). Really, the only wine I can compare this to is a 2000 Domaine Leflaive Chevalier Montrachet I had a couple years ago. Not the same in taste/aroma, but similar in impact, ie. WOW.
After contemplating my first words to describe this wine-yes it is that compelling-and coming back to earth, my first thought is that this is liquid nature. The color is mostly light, natural green with just a touch of yellow highlight. I swear that I am detecting a beautiful sweet botyritis peppermint aroma that is jumping from the glass. Very complex nose and quite young. I have never had this perception before. What an incredible nimble, lithe, youthful, strong, vibrant, moving mouthfeel this wine has. This wine needs a few more years in the bottle... then it will be mind boggling.
Finest CA chardonnay I have ever tasted. Smooth and balanced with a perfect finish. Tastes of orange blossoms and just a hint of oak. Acidity just right for a smooth almost velvet feel in the mouth. Cannot think of how this wine could be better. If this were a woman perfection. Makes me think of a willowy sleek blond in a black and white movie. Like drinking liquid silk. Could drink this every night and right into the poorhouse.
Studio Restaurant (@ The Montage Resort In Laguna Beach): I expected a bigger wine but I was msitaken. In fact, this is a wine of precision and structure, a great chardonnay. Baked apple, flint, lemon brulee. Some minerality and a pure elegant finish. Lovely and a memorable wine.
Tasted blind. Elegant and complex nose of lemon/lime, flowers, smoke, stones and minerals. Layer upon layer of delicate, focused flavors on the palate ending with a long, persistent finish. But what most struck me was the intensely mineral and stony character of the wine. The minerality and elegance of the wine led me (and others) to guess this was Grand Cru White Burgundy. I was surprised when it was revealed as the Judge.
California tasting @ Restaurant Savelberg (Netherlands): Oh. My. God. This has to be the most impressive white wine I had to date... Despite its larger-than-life concentration, the freshness and vivacity in this wine is unbelievable. The minerality in this wine is so grainy and convincing, it's almost tangible. Then there is an abysmal complexity of fragrances, which I couldn't sift anymore at this time of the evening, but left me speechless and wondering. Lost count when I tried to measure the endless finish. Mindblowing and recalibrating wine. 19+/20
Although my allergies were kicking in just as we got to this bottle, there was enough power in this wine to cut through the fog. The aromas were muted (due to my stuffy nose), but the wine tasted wonderful, with strong acidity, a great mouthfeel --- I was having a great time just swishing it around and tasting it. I felt there was a bit of residual sulfur on the nose and on the palate, and so I think this wine may need a bit of time to rest. I'm fairly certain that when I taste this wine again, my score will go higher, as I could tell there was a lot there I couldn't detect.