Home   Map   Blog Roll   WineCompass   Wine 101   My Compass 

Conundrum California White Table Wine

Conundrum California White Table Wine Wine Details

Description: Conundrum is truly a California wine, including grapes from the Napa, Monterey, Santa Barbara and Tulare counties. For the 2005 vintage, grapes were brought in over a two and a-half month period beginning August 30th - a couple weeks later than normal. Sauvignon Blanc was first, coming from eight different Napa Valley vineyards, where the warm weather can bring out this grape’s green-melon-like character at one vineyard site and its fresh-cut-grass character at another site. The next grape variety to ripen was Muscat Canelli, from warm Tulare County. Muscat is the grape that gives Conundrum its high-toned, floral aroma, along with some equally floral, cool-climate Viognier we grew in Monterey County. We also grew most of our Chardonnay and other varietals in Monterey County, one of the coolest, driest growing regions in California. The long season there—we harvested Chardonnay through November 19—allows the grapes to develop deeply ripe flavors and golden color while retaining great natural acidity.

Varietal Definition
Sauvignon Blanc:
Sauvignon Blanc is widely grown in California — at over 15,000 acres, it’s now the third most planted variety — and often assumes the moniker ‘Fume Blanc’. This popular synonym, credited to Napa’s Robert Mondavi, derives from the grape’s historic home of Pouilly in France’s Upper Loire Valley, where Sauvignon Blanc is the dominant varietal and goes locally by the name of ‘Blanc Fumé’. When treated with respect and afforded suitable growing conditions, Sauvignon Blanc is one of the wine world’s darlings. Steely, racy acidity, green, gooseberry fruit, asparagus and a grassy, herbaceous character characterize dry wines made from this grape.
Chardonnay is by far the most widely planted grape crop in California and dominates California’s cooler, coastal, quality wine regions. The natural varietal ‘taste and smell’ of Chardonnay is surprisingly unfamiliar to many wine drinkers, as its true character is often guised with dominating winemaking signatures. Chardonnay’s rather subdued primary fruit characteristics lean toward the crisp fruitiness of apples, pears and lemon, but the variety’s full body is capable of supporting a host of complementary characteristics, such as oak, butter and vanilla. Regardless of what is the appropriate style for Chardonnay, the varietal continues to dominate vineyard plantings in every corner of the world. Close attention to clonal selection has made this broad geographic and climactic range of Chardonnay viable in thoughtful viticultural hands.
Muscat Canelli:
Known by many names, this grape’s official French name is Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains, which translates as ‘Muscat with small berries’. In California, the name Muscat Canelli is common, derived from Moscato di Canelli, a name used in Italy. In the northern hemisphere this late-ripening variety is mainly used to make semi-sweet and sweet dessert wines, or as a table grape. Grown in many countries, including Austria and Germany (Muskateller), Hungary (Muscat Lunel), and France (Muscat Frontignan), it may be the oldest known grape, confirmed as growing around the Mediterranean for centuries. However, it should not be confused with Muscat of Alexandria, a grape with a similar ancient history in the same region.


Back to Conundrum Wines information