2009 Kongsgaard "The Judge" Napa Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1078731 98 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The 2009 Chardonnay The Judge sparkles on the palate with brilliant layers of fruit. It is bright, articulate and beautifully centered from start to finish. There is a weightless richness that is almost impossible to describe for its pure elegance. A dazzling, crystalline finish rounds out the flinty, mineral-drenched notes. This is easily the equal of any Chardonnay being made in the world today. Anticipated maturity: 2015-2024. 98+ Points (AG)  (12/2011)

96 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Medium yellow. Nose begins a bit tropical and closed-in but aeration brings great lift from orange rind, lime and iodiney sea breeze. Billowing and weightless on entry, then builds inexorably in the middle palate, showing subtle salty and leesy nuances and powerful crushed-stone minerality. Kongsgaard bottles his chardonnays during the second June or July, when they're beyond the primary, tutti-frutti stage. This extremely backward wine finishes with outstanding grip, piquant citrus lift and great persistence. California chardonnay doesn't get any better than this--and very little Burgundy can equal it either. 96+ Points  (5/2012)

95 points Vinous

 Honey, hazelnut, dried apricots, wild flowers and orange peel meld together in the glass in the 2009 Chardonnay The Judge, a wine that is just beginning to show the first signs of development. The 2009 is rich, exotic and oily on the palate, with fabulous depth and great overall balance. This is a wonderfully complete wine, a bit on the big side, but still impeccable in its balance. (AG)  (11/2013)

95 points Wine Spectator

 Shows complex aromatics of ripe pear and apple, with subtle hazelnut and anise notes that are intense yet elegant and detailed, finishing with pure, ripe green-skinned fruits and honeydew melon. Drink now through 2020. (JL)  (6/2012)

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Price: $289.99
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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, M√Ęcon, 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.
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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.