2004 Kongsgaard "The Judge" Napa Valley Chardonnay
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2004 Chardonnay The Judge is about as fine a Chardonnay as one is likely to find in the world. The wine, as one might expect, is from the same vineyard and simply the most concentrated barrels of what is already a very concentrated wine. It just has more of everything when compared to the regular 2004 Chardonnay, but I think the most striking thing is that, from what I can tell, he is looking for even more intense minerality in the wine, and this wine certainly offers it in spades. It should age for up to a decade.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Wilder, more reduced nose than the 2005, with notes of mocha, smoke and nutty oak. Then broad, dry and full: this is almost too big for the mouth. This glyceral-thick chardonnay boasts staggering volume, but in spite of its almost exotic thickness and tropical fruit notes, I'd still like to put this in a blind tasting of top grand cru Burgundies. The wine's solid mineral underpinning began to express itself with aeration.
The mystical John Kongsgaard is one heck of a winemaker. These are low tech, artisinal offerings that eschew commercial yeasts, bacterial strains, and enzymes. Of course, they are bottled naturally, with no fining or filtration. What one gets is the essence of the varietal, vintage, and vineyard.