“Conundrum” seems to refer to the “proprietary blend” of grapes that go into this bottle (delving into its history online, I find that it is made of Sauv Blanc, Muscat Canelli, Chardonnay and Viognier). We occasionally run into this wine on restaurant menus, and have enjoyed it by the glass.
Tasting it at home, I was surprised to find it sweeter than I remembered. The bouquet is grapey, like white grape juice, but with more depth. In fact, the flavor is strongly reminiscent of an off-dry Riesling. It complemented the Asian takeout food we paired with it, partly because of the sweetness, and partly because it has enough backbone to stand up to strong flavors. But I would hesitate to serve it with Mediterranean food. A blue cheese might pair well, for the other wine it reminded me of was Sauternes (though of course it’s nowhere near that sweet).
The price point was a bit higher than I would have liked, around $18.00. But the label is very, very pretty…
Actually that is a nice price for Conundrum. I like this White. It’s a good summer wine too. Some vintage years will be sweeter than others. And I agree, it certainly can be compared to a drier Riesling. But I have found that the blend in Conundrum often makes for more character than the more pedestrian of Rieslings. So if it is on the menu, I choose Conundrum first.
I have friends who are purists who won’t drink it because it is a “blend”. And I have found that many a blend has made a better friend. 😉
On a less expensive note, have you tried the Menage A Trois? It is Chardonnay, Muscat and Chenin Blanc and is often off-dry with just a little fruit. However, the winemaker describes it as more fruity, but I haven’t found it to be as much as Conundrum – but Conundrum is still the better wine.
Thanks for the tip! I’ve not tried the Menage a Trois. I certainly have nothing against blends and can’t imagine why anyone would. After all, most French wines are blends!
And oddly, I am not big on French wines. I am California spoiled. 🙂 I have to admit, I haven’t really made a strong effort when it comes to French wine. I really should. However, I have been told that they are better with, or intended to be had “with”, food. I’m good with that, but I really like to enjoy wine just to taste it by itself.
My other favorites – Argentine Malbec and Australian Shiraz. 🙂
Sounds like you enjoy ‘big fruit’ which is very California too! Have you tried the sparkling Shiraz? It’s delicious. I don’t drink as many reds these days, but I would agree that the French ones can be more austere and less easy to love than CA or AU wines (not to mention very expensive). Still, there is always Beaujolais. Yummy!
I do indeed, just more on the drier side, especially for reds. Whites too. I like bold and creamy finishes on a white, like a Viognier.
Would love a recommendation for a Beaujolais.
That post is coming, I promise…just don’t expect a whole lot. 🙂
Beaujolais: Georges Duboeuf and Louis Jadot are the inexpensive standbys, either for the Beaujolais-Villages or the Nouveau, which is the very young variety (great for Thanksgiving!). I haven’t delved into the pricier ones, but they are by nature a younger, less expensive, fruity, jammy delight.
Yep, that sounds like me. 🙂
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