Kongsgaard Chardonnay offers an exalted combination of richness and focus. It comes on with a big blast of stone fruit and citrus zest and the high notes in the aroma lead you to a delirious array of flavours in the finish. Antonio Galloni called it a wine of breadth and resonance's shaping up to be a jewel of a wine. It hales from our long-standing Carneros growers Hudson and Hyde. Like The Judge, this Chardonnay spends 22 months in barrel before bottling and it has developed into a truly delicious mouthful. Perrotti-Brown was right to call it “exuberant" 1850 cases produced
Since establishing his reputation at Newton Vineyards in the 1980s, where his Unfiltered Chardonnay became an instant classic, John Kongsgaard is now rightfully revered as the one of the finest winemakers in California. From their bunker-like winery at the top of Atlas Peak Mountain, John and his wife Maggie produce profound wines from Chardonnay, Albarino, Syrah and Cabernet Sauvignon with the help of their son Alex and assistant Evan Frazier. The wines are produced in tiny quantities and are difficult to find, but the trouble is more than worth it once the cork gets popped. Old School Burgundian principles are still followed to this day at Kongsgaard, the label that John founded in the mid 1990s. He is also insistent on using the highest quality low yielding fruit, which he either farms himself at his home vineyard or purchases from long term partners such as Larry Hyde and Lee Hudson (two of the finest grape growers in the USA). The wines are fermented and aged in French oak barrels, with native yeast fermentations, minimal sulphur additions and minimal batonnage. The results are Chardonnays that combine incredible weight with grace and a lightness of touch that is amazing considering their concentration. In Burgundian cellars, you have to wait until the Grand Cru wines before experiencing this level of power and finesse.