Saturday, May 4, 2013

Conundrum 2011 White Wine

Conundrum 2011 White Wine, $17.09-$21.99, 90 points, is just that, a conundrum, a cryptic cacophony of confounding white wines that somehow converges to bring Riesling white and Chardonnay gold into the eye of the beholder, even as it does the aromas of sweet honeyed-melon and cantaloupe, hints of citrus and marzipan all confused and handed-down throughout the palate and into a finish of ginger.
The near medium body smoothly carries good acidity and food friendliness (I served this wine with filet of sole), toward it's conclusion of chameleon-like complexity.
This is not your crisp Sauvignon Blanc gender of a white wine, but Conundrum successfully pieces together a profound potable perplexity of palatable flavors.
There is a restaurant named the Library, and I tend to think that this bottle's label would fit the décor perfectly.


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  1. I never really knew what happened with this. It used to be owned by Caymus. Not sure how or for what purpose the split occured - but I suspect it's much the same as Far Niente / Nickel&Nickel.


    1. John, it's an enigma wrapped in conundrum;-)

    2. I want to hate this wine so badly because of the Caymus connection and the general hype surrounding it, but every time I have it, I just love it. (Note: it has gotten much drier over the past ten years or so.)

      The way I understand it, Chuck Wagner and his wife divorced a few years back. In the divorce, the wife got the Conundrum line and Chuck kept Caymus. The winemaker, Jon Bolta, made the original Caymus Conundrum and stuck with the Conundrum label after the divorce. Conundrum (like Liberty School) has not officially been a Caymus wine for quite some time now.

      I saw a Conundrum red blend yesterday. First time I had seen that one.

    3. Bill, thanks for the info.
      Digressing into red wines.
      You may have noticed that I've "strayed" into French Bordeaux wines (a sin to many) which can be hard to come by in NH, and Italian wines which are easier to find; the sad part of this is that consistently great wines at reasonable prices ($20-$50) from the US, are not always easy to come by; the last really impressive US red wine (price considered) I had was in March (Seghesio Sonoma County 2011 Zinfandel apprx. $22); this is not to say that there isn't a plethora of very "good" US wines (87-91 points the way I score them)at fair prices ($10-$20), but to be more than just a compliment to dinner, too often US wines are over priced (just my opinion).
      I am interested in Liberty School wines, and I have a couple of them, but haven't had a chance to taste them; do you have any thoughts on their wines?

    4. I haven't had anything from Liberty School in over a decade. I remember the Paso Robles Cabernet being a pretty good value back in the mid-late 90s, but that was my last experience with it.

      I've found precious few "value" Bordeaux to my liking. I think my biggest problem with those wines are that they don't tend to be very complimentary of the type of food that I eat most often (grilled food, smoked food, spicy food, etc.). That being said, I did have a very nice bottle of '05 Ch. Le Conseiller with some grilled venison a few weeks ago. There's another upstart wholesaler here in KS who has recently brought in a plethora of $20 Bordeaux that come with some nice press from the likes of Parker and Spectator. Might have to give one or two of those a try one of these days.

    5. Bill, again thanks. I think I get the smoky, the Barbecue thing, and as a whole I'd agree with your assessment, but the Château La Dominique Saint-Émilion Grand Cru Classé 2009 Bordeaux would compliment anything grilled or barbecued that I can think of; I must admit, if I didn't get the info about this wine being 100% Merlot I would have said "no way!" However this spicy wine was so much a highlight of my Bordeaux experience, I can't say enough about it; it could be that the 2009 vintage was just that special.
      Having tasted almost 50 Bordeaux red wines this year (I know, a small # for many others)I've run through the bulk of what is being offered in NH, though I still have a few un-tasted, I'm looking forward to them.