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Conundrum White Blend 2010

16 Aug

Conundrum White 2010

This is a ‘proprietary’ white blend from Rutherford, California’s winemaker Jon Bolta. 

 

The color is pale yellow. As a blend, I expected it to have some depth but the nose is not only complex but slightly confusing: chamomile, honeysuckle, citrus, and hints of ginger and jasmine pour forth from this delicious-smelling mixture. The palate matches the name perfectly. The first sip provides a touch of sweetness with some acid bite, a little rich, savory buttery quality which finishes with a touch of sweet bitterness. I had to stop and begin my tasting again to pick out a few elements from the palate: pear, apple, grapefruit, lemon peel, honeysuckle, fresh cut hay. I sensed little minerality, -not because it’s not there-, but because the floral and tropical flavors masked more subtle elements in the mix.

My fourth reaction to this wine after grasping the forward elements, was that this wine IS a blend of delicious grapes: I suspected they are semillion, chardonnay, pinot grigio, and sauvignon blanc- to me, it tasted like a Semil-Charda-Grigio-Sauv. I only came to this conclusion based on the experience of the mouthfeel, with these notes:  “sweet, acid, a tiny sour, a little bitter aftertaste, yet there is a sense of some new oak, some buttery fullness that is offset by the crisp acidity. Hmmm. This is like a painting that needs to be seen again, taken in again by multiple viewings”.

Going over my tasting notes, I recall that the first time I tasted this wine a few months back for some reason it identified as part of the Caymus family of wines.  I did a little research, and it IS part of that group of wines (Wagner), and while Conundrum has traditionally kept the grape blend a secret, they now post it on their website. What I thought was pinot grigio is actually viognier and muscat. From their website (linked below) I quote: “five white grape varietals- Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Muscat Canelli, Viognier and Semillon- sourced from Napa, Monterey, Santa Barbara and Tulare counties”

Wow. This is an unusual and impressive white. I think Jon Bolta and Jason Moore of Modus Wines would have an amazing conversation over their favorite blending techniques and approach.

Something I noted as we enjoyed this wine with baked tilapia: I felt the bitter aftertaste was more prevalent as the temperature increased, so I’d serve this wine very cold and I returned the bottle to the freezer between serving half-glasses. I did enjoy Conundrum a great deal, and feel the blend is one that would appeal to a wide variety of both people and pairings, so it might be a perfect wine for Thanksgiving, or a great choice for a restaurant meal when you need a white to pair with several different main courses. 

I purchased at $16/bottle in a grocery store, and have seen it online from $12-22/bottle. The white lists at $22 on the Conundrum website. Over 90,000 cases of the 2010 were made, so you should have no problem finding this locally.

Conundrum’s website is linked here;

The Wagner website is linked here.

and a cool youtube video on Conundrum wine is here!

à votre santé!

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