2002 Kongsgaard Napa Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1012372 95 points 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)  (2/2005)

94 points 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.  (6/2005)

K&L Notes

"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)

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Price: $89.99
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- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mâcon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.