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Kongsgaard Merlot 2012
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Kongsgaard Merlot 2012

 
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Robert Parker 96
"Kongsgaard rarely makes Merlot, and there are only 75 cases of his 2012 Merlot. A beauty, it offers sexy, creamy chocolaty, Asian plum sauce, and blackcurrant notes as well as a hint of minerality. Full-throttle and opulent, this layered, stunning Merlot can be enjoyed over the next 15 or more years. "

"The mystical John Kongsgaard came out of the Newton winemaking factory where he was mentored by the great Michel Rolland. However, ... read more
Item ID: #17703
Size: 750mL (wine)
Closure: Cork

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Robert Parker 96
"Kongsgaard rarely makes Merlot, and there are only 75 cases of his 2012 Merlot. A beauty, it offers sexy, creamy chocolaty, Asian plum sauce, and blackcurrant notes as well as a hint of minerality. Full-throttle and opulent, this layered, stunning Merlot can be enjoyed over the next 15 or more years. "

"The mystical John Kongsgaard came out of the Newton winemaking factory where he was mentored by the great Michel Rolland. However, he has had his own operation for many years in the cool Coombsville hills east of the town of Napa. He also uses purchased fruit from some of Napa’s finest growers, particularly the Hudson Vineyard. His estate includes six acres on Atlas Peak and six acres in Coombsville, and he is in the process of clearing another tract for planting. Although his total acreage is small, the wines are artisanal, individualistic and filled with personality and flavor. Anyone who believes Kongsgaard wines are too alcoholic or rich is missing out on some of the world’s most pleasure-filled and complex elixirs. The Chardonnays include a basic cuvée, which comes from selected parcels John Kongsgaard has long worked with in the Hudson and Hyde vineyards (from Old Wente clonal materials). There is also an estate Chardonnay, the riveting, prodigious The Judge named after Kongsgaard’s father. It comes from a six-acre parcel planted in 1975 in Coombsville that never yields more than ten tons of fruit. It is Old Wente clone material, which old-timers claim, but can’t prove, came from Burgundy’s grand cru Corton-Charlemagne. With two great vintages (2012 and 2013) in the pipeline, and with 2014 looking superb at the time of my visit, Kongsgaard is overflowing with liquid treasures."~Robert Parker


"After 20 years of winemaking in the Napa Valley, John Kongsgaard launched his own brand of Chardonnay with the 1996 vintage. As former winemaker for Newton Vineyards, John had already become well known for creating California's first unfiltered Chardonnay. Since then, he and his wife Maggy have added Syrah and a Viognier-Roussanne blend to their portfolio of wines.

The core of their endeavor is the ten acre vineyard planted on a rocky hilltop in southeast Napa Valley which has belonged to the Kongsgaard family since the 1920's. For 50 years the volcanic slopes sustained a small herd of skinny cattle and provided the idyllic romping grounds for two generations of lucky kids including John. In the 70's John and Maggy planted eight acres to Chardonnay, adding an acre of Roussanne and Viognier in 1995 and the final acre of Cabernet Sauvignon in 2001 (which had its first crop in 2004).

The extremely rocky soil has the vines on a near-starvation diet, restricting yields to one to two tons per acre of super-concentrated fruit. In addition to these family acres, the Kongsgaards direct the farming under long-term contract on another seven extraordinary acres of land in the Carneros which provide them with Syrah and a few additional tons of Chardonnay important for balancing the high intensity family grapes. Their low-intervention winemaking is modeled after 19th Century traditional European cellar practices (imagine the world before Pasteur and electricity). They avoid adding yeast and bacteria to the wine, and do long elevages in oak with little or no added SO2. At bottling, fining and filtration are avoided in their quest to express the essence of their unique vineyard sites.

While the Kongsgaard wines can be enjoyed for their sheer power and intensity when young, they develop beautifully with several years of bottle age. All of the Chardonnays, even the initlial 1996 are still drinking beautifully and improving, with no signs of cracking up.

In October, 2004, John was named "Winemaker of the Year" by Food & Wine Magazine in the annual Wine Issue. "What are Kongsgaard's next big plans? 'Absolutely none,' he says. After two decades in larger production wineries, he is thrilled to make a very modest total of 4000 cases all by himself: 'I like going down in the cellar, putting on a Mahler symphony and working with my wine. That's what makes me happy.'"~Distributor Notes

Kongsgaard

"After 20 years of winemaking in the Napa Valley, John Kongsgaard launched his own brand of Chardonnay with the 1996 vintage. As former winemaker for Newton Vineyards, John had already become well known for creating California's first unfiltered Chardonnay. Since then, he and his wife Maggy have added Syrah and a Viognier-Roussanne blend to their portfolio of wines.

The core of their endeavor is the ten acre vineyard planted on a rocky hilltop in southeast Napa Valley which has belonged to the Kongsgaard family since the 1920's. For 50 years the volcanic slopes sustained a small herd of skinny cattle and provided the idyllic romping grounds for two generations of lucky kids including John. In the 70's John and Maggy planted eight acres to Chardonnay, adding an acre of Roussanne and Viognier in 1995 and the final acre of Cabernet Sauvignon in 2001 (which had its first crop in 2004).

The extremely rocky soil has the vines on a near-starvation diet, restricting yields to one to two tons per acre of super-concentrated fruit. In addition to these family acres, the Kongsgaards direct the farming under long-term contract on another seven extraordinary acres of land in the Carneros which provide them with Syrah and a few additional tons of Chardonnay important for balancing the high intensity family grapes. Their low-intervention winemaking is modeled after 19th Century traditional European cellar practices (imagine the world before Pasteur and electricity). They avoid adding yeast and bacteria to the wine, and do long elevages in oak with little or no added SO2. At bottling, fining and filtration are avoided in their quest to express the essence of their unique vineyard sites.

While the Kongsgaard wines can be enjoyed for their sheer power and intensity when young, they develop beautifully with several years of bottle age. All of the Chardonnays, even the initlial 1996 are still drinking beautifully and improving, with no signs of cracking up.

In October, 2004, John was named "Winemaker of the Year" by Food & Wine Magazine in the annual Wine Issue. "What are Kongsgaard's next big plans? 'Absolutely none,' he says. After two decades in larger production wineries, he is thrilled to make a very modest total of 4000 cases all by himself: 'I like going down in the cellar, putting on a Mahler symphony and working with my wine. That's what makes me happy.'"

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