Vintage Notes

The Judge 2017 Kongsgaard Napa Valleyis an exquisite, wine of grace and power. It shines with aromas of citrus, peach, crushed rock, and a hint of praline. The hallmark, extremely long finish is both silken and excitingly textured. Our five-acre, rocky Judge vineyard in the hills east of Napa has come to be recognized as a legend, and we are humbled that, over the years, Parker, Galloni, MacNeil, Tanzer, and Broadbent have all described it as the greatest California Chardonnay. From barrel, Lisa Perrotti-Brown highlighted its “full bodied, laser-like precision” and described the finish as “very long and very minerally.” 238 cases produced. $200/bottle.

Chardonnay 2017 Kongsgaard Napa Valleyhails from the unique blocks of the Hudson and Hyde vineyards in the Napa Carneros that have been ours since we began in 1996. The 2017 is superbly energetic and balances acidity, fruit, and minerality at levels of concentration we find awe-inspiring. A significant aspect of the Kongsgaard Chardonnay signature develops in the second year of barrel aging on the lees. This technique, which John imported from Burgundy long ago, sculpts the dazzling finish, which those familiar with Meursault will admire. The Wine Advocate agrees, noting “amazing freshness and layers of densely packed citrus flavors; the finish is epically long and zesty. Wow.” 1604 cases produced. $100/bottle.

Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 Kongsgaard Napa Valleyis a regal wine of grand proportions. The aromatic layers of graphite, cedar, and dark chocolate anticipate the great concentration of mineral and fruit flavors. The long, luxurious finish is the result of our meticulous tannin extraction during fermentation and maceration—the crucial period of the vinification when the wine’s magnificent architecture is formed. The dense and silky structure will propel this powerful wine through its long life. Antonio Galloni found the 2017 Cabernet “outrageously beautiful” with “a distinctly Old-World sense of structure.” These vines occupy the warm, west-facing slope of our vineyard on the eastern rim of Napa Valley. 210 cases produced. $180/bottle.

The Fimasaurus 2017 Kongsgaard Napa Valleyis our co-fermented Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. Something inexplicable and wonderful occurs when two varieties meant to be together are fermented together. Co-fermenting equal parts Merlot and Cabernet we achieve the fusion of both worlds: silky and firm, soft and powerful, lovely to drink and ready for the long haul. A harmonious blend of the aromas and flavors of espresso, dark chocolate, and cassis, this wine lingers with a suave and luxurious long finish. Antonio Galloni found it “arrestingly beautiful, with gorgeous Cabernet Sauvignon aromatics that literally soar out of the glass.” … “simply tremendous.” The wine is named after our friend the great Uzbek classical pianist Yefim (Fima) Bronfman, who plays with the grandeur you will find in this expansive wine. 47 cases produced. $180/bottle.

Syrah 2017 Kongsgaard Napa Valleyis explosively aromatic and delivers a profoundly complex array of flavor from black pepper and smoked meat to orange peel and rose petals. These 2.5 acres of very unusual volcanic soil on the Hudson Ranch in the Napa Carneros provide a mineral-rich environment for these vines, which experience the aroma-intensifying, cool, ocean-influenced climate of south Napa near San Francisco Bay. The result is what Stephen Tanzer calls, “arguably California’s greatest single Syrah bottling.” Antonio Galloni described the 2017, “unctuous and full-throttled to the core, with head-spinning intensity and exceptional balance.” This is a deeply sensual wine. You may engage your wine-intellect to compare it to Hermitage and Côte Rôte, but first you will be swept away by its evocative splendor. 264 cases produced. $180/bottle.

Viognier 2018 Kongsgaard Napa Valleyis the successor to the VioRous. Look for the joyful, bright aromas of peach and white flowers, the flavors of stone fruits, and the satin-textured, long creamy finish. This wine has been a blend of Viognier and Roussanne grown alongside The Judge Chardonnay vineyard in Napa. In 2011, we planted Viognier on the west-facing slope at the winery and have come to recognize this unique vineyard as Viognier’s perfect expression. Now we blend this with the Viognier from The Judge vineyard and see a truly glorious evolution of this celebrated wine. The 2017 yield was very small, resulting in just one barrel, so we have only 200 of these marvelous bottles to sell. 24 cases produced. $100/bottle.

Sauvignon Blanc 2018 Kongsgaard Napa Valleyis the inaugural release of this wine from 0.7 acres destined for this variety. The cool east-facing slope unique to our property was planted in 2012. The juice is fermented with the vineyard’s indigenous yeast in old, neutral barrels yielding vibrant, laser-like aromas of citrus zest, green apple, and anise. The flavors seem to have been chiseled from stone—nervy minerality, and a sense of salinity pervade the long and delicate finish. This energetic wine is in the tradition of Sancerre and will remind you that Sancerre is not far from Chablis. 42 cases produced. $100/bottle.

Albariño 2018 Kongsgaard Napa Valleyhas alluring aromas of white flowers, crushed rock, and lime zest. Its bracing and textured finish is supported by mouthwatering acidity. The Albariño is grown on a steep, rocky, bay-facing 3/4 acre in Carneros and is fermented in very old oak barrels and bottled after nine months on the lees. No critics have tasted the just-bottled Albariño, but we can report that Robert Parker called our inaugural vintage “the finest Albariño I have tasted from California,” and Antonio Galloni hailed it to be “in a class of its own.” It is available only in New York and California restaurants. 65 cases produced.

KINGS FARMwines are the “little brothers and sisters” of the Kongsgaard wines and are occasionally bottled in small quantities and offered to our mailing list customers in a special spring offering.  Learn More

Kongsgaard Vineyard