Vintage Notes

The Judge 2015 Kongsgaard Napa Valley,from our extremely rocky, 5-acre vineyard, is a monumental wine remarkable for its profound minerality, stone fruit and citrus aromas, and an almost unending finish. Part of the magic of the Judge is the tiny crop. Alas, in 2015, the production is the lowest in our long history and the allocation reflects this. Parker exclaimed, “The 2015 Judge may well be one of the all time greatest Chardonnays ever made in California. This Chardonnay may be mythical!”

Chardonnay 2015 Kongsgaard Napa Valleywill delight you with its vibrant acidity, vivid aromas, and astonishing array of flavors from both the plant and mineral kingdoms. It hails from the Hudson and Hyde vineyards near the Bay in the coolest part of Napa Valley and reminds us of the Burgundies we love to drink. Tasting from barrel, Galloni found “candied lemon peel and white flowers” in “the exquisite, nuanced finish.” Parker found it “incredibly concentrated,” and “reminiscent of truly profound Grand Cru Burgundy.”

Cabernet Sauvignon 2015 Kongsgaard Napa Valleytakes your breath away with its intensity and power, but ultimately with its grace—it is a grand wine draped in velvet, belonging to the Bordeaux tradition that has been our inspiration since John tasted the 1982s from barrel on his first trip to France. Tasting from barrel, Galloni noted that it is “deep, powerful, and explosive…the 2015 has so much fruit that the tannins are nearly buried, but they are there. Small berries and huge tannins add to the wine’s considerable personality. A brilliant wine in the making.” Parker found “glorious berry fruit and minerality jumping from the glass.”

The Fimasaurus 2015 Kongsgaard Napa Valley,a co-fermentation of equal parts Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, is boldly structured with extravagant richness balancing the fine tannin. It is a deeply expressive powerhouse like its namesake Fima Bronfman, the great Uzbek pianist. Galloni was impressed by its “imposing, virile personality,” and judged it to be “a wine of real gravitas, depth and power. The Fimasaurus exudes pure breed.” Parker echoed, “I’m not sure you could ask for anything more in terms of aromatics in this full-bodied, highly extracted, killer effort.”

Merlot 2015 Kongsgaard Napa Valleyis gloriously dense and silky on the pallet, and expresses the varietal’s characteristic aroma of cassis, violets, and dark chocolate. Merlot is a major force in the Bordeaux side our winery, contributing to both the Cabernet Sauvignon and The Fimasaurus. In 2015 two barrels of Merlot were so striking early in their lives that they commanded our attention for a separate bottling. This is the first pure Merlot bottling since 2012, which Parker praised as “Full-throttle and opulent, this layered, stunning Merlot can be enjoyed over the next 15 or more years.”

Syrah 2015 Kongsgaard Napa Valleyis profound in every way. We understood this when it was just a month old as we moved the wine into barrels from the fermenter. It is grown in a 2½-acre vineyard on the volcanic side of the Hudson Ranch, one of the perfect places to grow Syrah in Napa Valley where the cool wind off the Bay preserves the intense aroma of the wines, and where the vines can benefit from the rare, complex volcanic soil. After scoring the previous vintage 100 points, Galloni, described the 2015 from barrel as “a dramatic, sweeping Syrah of heroic proportions.” When Parker scored the wine from barrel (98-100 points) he exclaimed, “The 2015 Syrah has all the characteristics of a potentially perfect wine. Absolutely compelling. The layers of meat and black fruits, pepper and spice are unreal. This is a tour de force in winemaking.”

VioRous 2016 Kongsgaard Napa Valleyis a celebration of the ethereal freshness and purity of peach and honeysuckle aromas. It is fermented in older (neutral) barrels and bottled after just nine months to retain its hallmark freshness. The heady aromas are brought back to earth with an extravagantly long and silky finish that ends with a touch of refreshing tannin. No matter when you open it, this exotic elixir will make you think of summer. One of our customers wrote from Finland telling us that it nearly brought him to tears when he tasted it in the darkness of his northern winter. We are reminded of Parker’s famous comment about a previous vintage when he compared the VioRous to “Marilyn Monroe in her prime dressed in a chic Chanel suit.” Our estate Viognier is now in full production and the VioRous is back up to four barrels!

Albariño 2016 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 will be available only in New York and California restaurants.

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