2002 Kongsgaard Napa Valley Chardonnay
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2002 Chardonnay reveals evolution in its orange liqueur, lemon oil, honeyed grapefruit, roasted hazelnut, and leesy personality. With terrific delineation, intensity, and full body, noble purity, and an amazing texture, it represents California’s version of a Batard-Montrachet. These wines tend to age beautifully for 6-7 years, perhaps even longer ... I just never have any bottles left after that period of time. (RP)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Wild, gamey aromas of dried fruits, honey, smoke, truffle and nuts. Less fruit-driven and more minerally in the mouth than the younger 2003, with terrific fat and depth. Here the acids have been integrated into the wine. With aeration, this wine showed hints of exotic fruits as well as firmer notes of lemon and grapefruit. 'During the wine's second year in barrel, we get rid of the primary fruit and get down to the bones of the wine,' says Kongsgaard. Not surprisingly, last year I described the then-unfinished 2002 as a fruit bomb and noted that the bottled 2001 was more minerally in character! Distinctly tannic on the finish. A wine of vendange tardive-like texture and ripeness.
"The mystical John Kongsgaard is one heck of a winemaker," says Robert Parker of these low-tech, artisanal wines, which are made without commercial yeasts, malolactic bacterial strains, or enzymes. "Of course, they are bottled naturally, with no fining or filtration. What one gets is the essence of the varietal, vintage, and vineyard." (12/2003)