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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4 Responses to “Conundrum White Blend 2010”

  1. jimvanbergen August 17, 2012 at 11:23 am #

    Thanks so much for sharing that insight! It’s wonderful to know, as I’ve only tasted the 2009 and 2010. It’s also excellent that there’s no reason to hold or cellar when there are large quantities available!

    Like

  2. thewineraconteur August 16, 2012 at 9:25 pm #

    This is a guaranteed crowd pleaser, especially from people who claim that they do not like white wines. I never seem to be able to keep an adequate amount of this wine in the cellar.

    Like

    • jimvanbergen August 17, 2012 at 12:27 am #

      That makes perfect sense! How do you find the consistency over vintages? The ratings are solid, but I’m curious how well it will hold up year to year.

      Like

      • thewineraconteur August 17, 2012 at 10:27 am #

        I really feel that this blended wine is impervious to vintages. I have not had a bad bottle of this wine for at least ten years (I believe). It is the genius of the blending art that makes it work. It makes for a good gift, and one that most can find on their own afterwards.

        Like

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