Conundrum White (750ml)
It all began at the dinner table. Charlie Wagner Sr., who co-founded Caymus Vineyards in 1972 with his wife, Lorna, and son, Chuck, would mix wines to find the perfect glass to pair with his meal. No one blended wines back then, so his experiment was pretty radical. Fast forward to 1989, when Conundrum White was born, quickly taking off with its mysterious, tropical notes and amazing versatility. Conundrum Red, serious yet approachable, was introduced in 2011. Today, it’s Charlie’s grandson, Charlie Wagner II, who keeps Conundrum as original as ever.
Evocative scents of apricot, pear and honeysuckle, orange and lemon meringue pie. The entry on the palate has a subtle sweetness immediately balanced by a natural acidity and pop of freshness. Flavors of peach, apple and citrus are layered with with a touch of oak that comes from a portion of barrel fermentation. The finish is long, with distinctive hints of each varietal creating a final, lingering impression.
The grapes for Conundrum are sourced in places that are both famed and off the beaten track – in Napa, Monterey, Santa Barbara, San Benito, Solano and Tulare Counties. Its character starts in the vineyard, in small towns where families have been farming for generations and there’s always plenty of good conversation, great grapes and more to explore. The blend varies according to vintage, but expect Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Viognier to make an appearance. The wine is fermented mostly in stainless steel with a small portion fermented in wood. The wine also predominantly ages in stainless steel tanks and a small portion sees some time in neutral French oak barrels.