Posing a Conundrum (or a failed experiement) - Printable Version

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- wondersofwine - 05-08-2006 03:48 PM

Sometimes accidental discoveries pay dividends. Mold on bread--penicillin (probably not that direct but what the heck), or accidental discovery of Champagne methods when wine stored in France in cool winters stopped fermenting and then began fermenting again when the weather warmed up. British importers, who brought the wine in barrels to England for bottling in the 17th century, discovered the second fermentation gave the wine a pleasant and even seductive fizz.
Some accidental discoveries are not as successful.
I was introduced to the proprietary California blended white wine Conundrum at a Pinehurst Wine Festival perhaps four years ago. I liked it and bought a bottle to take home. It is produced by the Wagner family of Caymus fame. The varieties represented in the blend are Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Muscat Canelli, plus small amounts of Semillon and Viognier. Some of the lots are fermented in stainless steel and some in oak barrels with varying yeast. Some lots stay in cool-temperature stainless steel to age and some are aged in seasoned barrels and a small portion of new barrels so that oak flavors remain subtle.
Anyway, I recently spoke to an industry insider who said that Conundrum is definitely meant to be consumed young. My reation was oops-I'd better open mine soon--it may be already dead.
It had definitely reached maturity which is a kinder way of saying that it was over-the-hill. Nevertheless, it was somewhat interesting what time had done to it, so I drank three glasses before pouring the rest down the drain.
2000 Conundrum opened in 2006
Gold patina to the color. Floral/sherry/honey nose. Deep fragrance.
Flavors of baked apples, maybe some vanilla custard. Suggestion of cream sherry.
The industry insider was on the money--drink it young.

[This message has been edited by wondersofwine (edited 05-08-2006).]

- Innkeeper - 05-08-2006 04:09 PM