Intriguing aromas of fresh cut green apple and marzipan lead to a palate of cantaloupe melon with a vanilla cream finish. This medium-bodied estate grown wine is well-structured with crisp acidity that is rounded out by a toasty butterscotch richness. A delightfully fresh expression of Sonoma Valley Chardonnay that begs a second glass.
Chardonnay is the queen of the whites and this lady suits that description to a tee. Across the incredibly diverse Kunde Estate, combined with a collection of clonal selections, complexity and focus come together in an easy sipping white wine. For those who like their Chardonnay to be crisp, a beautiful dose of acid and the richness of barrel fermentation creates a very lightly oaked, tasty experience.
Pair with grilled yellow fin tuna fish tacos with a fresh salsa infused guacamole
Vintage and Winemaker Notes
The Sonoma Valley offers an ideal climate for growing first class Chardonnay with its warm days and cool, breezy evenings. May was the one exception to an otherwise flawless growing season due to two weeks of cooler 60° temperatures which were a bit scary as we were finishing flower. Luckily, we set our precious berries just fine and then moved into a warm summer. Whole-cluster pressing and cold-settling of the juice was followed by barrel fermentation (90% of the blend) and cool-temperature fermentation in stainless steel tanks for the remainder. The barrel-fermented wines were aged on the yeast lies with stirring once a week, followed by malolactic fermentation. The tank fermented wines did not go through malolactic fermentation. 80% of the wine was aged for nine months in French oak barrels (27% new oak), with 20% aged in stainless steel, and then bottled in August 2016.
At Kunde Family Estate, our winemaking mission is to craft elegant wines with a real sense of place—beautifully balanced and expressive of our dramatic vineyard landscape.
For over a century, five generations of the Kunde Family have farmed our 1,850 acre-estate in the heart of Sonoma Valley—a truly remarkable legacy in the modern age of California winemaking. A fervent, forward-thinking vision of land stewardship and sustainability began over one hundred years ago, and has been shaped with each successive generation.
Today, Kunde Family Estate is still family owned and operated with a hands-on team of 4th and 5th generation family members at the helm. At the end of the day, every decision we make, every wine we craft, and every experience we provide honors the legacy of founder Louis Kunde, who emigrated from Germany and purchased the original Wildwood Vineyards ranch at the turn of the century in 1904. Cresting the second century was a profound milestone for the family. Moving forward, we remain committed to innovation and state-of-the-art facilities, while also maintaining a deep, personal commitment to sustainable winegrowing and preserving the land for generations to come.
AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY
FedEx Ground: Monday, June 11th - Thursday, June 14th
Now - the name inspired me to play with some variations of it in German.
Kunde - customer
kundig - to be knowledgeable about something
die frohe Kunde - the Gospel, God’s good word, …
verkuenden (with Umlaut) - to announce, to proclaim
erkunden - to research, explore
sich erkundigen - to request information, to inform oneself
Not to be confused with “kuendigen” (with Umlaut) - to quit
As a Meh-Kunde, and Kickstarter backer signing up to casemates I guess I am an “official lab rat” now. I do not claim to be very kundig regarding Chards - but can tell the difference between different types and styles.
This is not your butter bomb. The fact that they did verkuenden on the label that it has “tangerine” was surprisingly accurate. I tried to erkunden the different flavor notes and while I did not get ripe pear, I agree on some crips apple notes, especially as a lingering flavor.
The tangerine is not overwhelming, think of a tea with a tad of a tangerine flavor or water infused with a tangerine piece. Very noticeable but not overwhelming.
The frohe Kunde to tell is that this is an enjoyable and refreshing, fruity chard that is suitable for those warm summer nights.
I would like to “sich erkundigen” about the drinking window.
It is very quaffable right now.
It’s something that my wife enjoys. It is not a sweet wine, but despite its crispness not as tart as some other whites.
For the offered price it appears to be a good value to enjoy chilled on a warm summer night.
The published tasting notes saying “marzipan” are very off btw in my opinion I did not get cantaloupe melon, vanilla notes either… are we talking about the same wine? Yanny? Laurel?
The label says
“Vibrant and crisp with with intriguing tangerine aromatics, our estate grown Chardonnay offers a delightful core of ripe pears and crisp apple flavors with soft accents of toasty oak. It’s always the right choice to serve with roasted poultry and fresh seafood entrees. Cheers!”
As described above - I agree on the tangerine, did not get a lot of pear though and more apple in comparison.
Tropical tones of mango and pineapple are vibrant in this wine. It is
taut, with intense acidity that settles into toasty oak. Vibrantly
focused, it has a core of vanilla and Meyer lemon that comes through
on the finish atop a hint of butterscotch.
“Vibrant and crisp with with intriguing tangerine aromatics, our estate grown Chardonnay offers a delightful core of ripe pears and crisp apple flavors with soft accents of toasty oak. It’s always the right choice to serve with roasted poultry and fresh seafood entrees.”
Having purchased a couple cases of this wine I completely agree with this description although I agree leans more towards apple than pears. Very crisp with just a little oak to it. Perfect summer wine and at this price another case is coming my way!
Good Morning Casemates!
So happy to read your comments regarding our 2015 Chardonnay. And especially love the posting of pictures outside our Tasting Room and our Mountain Top Tasting Experience. We’ve offered this Chardonnay at a great deal for our friends at Casemates. It’s a lovely wine to drink with summertime fare. Try it with fish tacos and I promise you won’t be dissapointed! Crisp and lightly oaked with a beautiful dose of acid - delicious!!!
For several months I have been eagerly anticipating the day that I would receive an email saying that a bottle of wine I did not order was on its way to my house. So as I checked my email on Tuesday night as my plane touched down for my vacation in Missouri, I was horrified to learn that a bottle was on its way to my house, in the State that I had just left.
I called Fed-Ex to see if they could redirect it. They told me to talk to the shippers. I talked with Wine Country Connect, but they said that they could not redirect it to another state. With no reasonable way of getting that bottle across the country in time, I started searching for a local store who carried Kunde Chardonnay.
I called all the local wine shops, but none carried Kunde. I spoke with the local Grocery stores, but no one had heard of it. So I called Kunde directly, and they sent me a list of their customers within the state of Missouri. One of them happened to be in the same city I was staying in. I looked them up, only to find they were a Marketing Agency, not a wine shop. I called them, and they said they could not sell to someone who did not have a liquor license. So they told me what stores in the area they typically deal with, though they could not tell me who might have it in stock. Finally, I called one of the stores they told me of, and the supplier happened to be in the store at the same time, and was told I could special order the bottles for next day delivery.
I knew that it was a 2015 chardonnay, but did not know if it was the estate or not, so I ordered 2 of each. Unfortunately, they did not know what vintage they would have in stock, so I had to hope for the best.
I just picked up the bottles form the store. They did not have the right vintage, but I figured I would review it anyways. I got two bottles of 2015 chardonnay, and two bottles of the 2014 Estate chardonnay.
I threw them in some ice buckets for a quick chill.
As a disclaimer, I drink reds almost exclusively. If I drink a white, I only really enjoy something very crisp and refreshing; something to cool you down when its 90 degrees in Missouri.
I’ll start with the the 2014 Estate Chardonnay for now.
The nose is bright and clean. It smells like fresh apples to me. Maybe a hint of Oak. Pat says he smells Strawberries. I am skeptical but that’s what he says. No alcohol smells. On the tongue is pears and apples. In this 2014, I would say more pear than apple. Pat says he tastes strawberries too. Again, I am skeptical, but maybe if I try really hard I can imagine the taste of strawberries in there. Again there is the hint of oak in the wine. I would not say it is oaky, but it is noticeable. Not to the point where the wine is no longer crisp, so it does not bother me so much, but it does take a little of the bite out of what it would otherwise have. The wine has a medium finish, maybe even medium plus, with bright acid on the back.
Overall this is a white that I would be willing to drink. Its bright with a crisp apple/pear taste, its refreshing, its not over oaked, it has decent complexity for a white and a decently long finish. Its easy to drink and refreshing in the heat.
Pat says he would pay $14.95 for the wine. Since I already know the price its hard for me to say what I would pay for it, but I can tell you that I bought it today for $18.00 + tax per estate bottle.
At $10.00 or less per bottle, its hard to argue against buying this wine, but obviously I am drinking a different vintage so YMMV. Then again, Whites tend to just sit in my garage until I find the opportunity to make people drink them.
I have a wedding to prepare for, but plan on giving out tastings throughout the day for the guests and see what they think of the wines. I’ll also try out the 2015 non-estate wine for a comparison to see how Kunde does over time and with different bottles. I wish I could have found the correct wine, maybe next time.
S said that it was too buttery for her. She is very sensitive to oak and does not like any at all. She said it was still a good wine but she would not buy it. She said she likes more citrusy acidity, as opposed to apples and pears. Shes pretty picky in my experience.
L said much the same as S.
M said she liked it, and would pay up to $18 per bottle for it.
Twich22 - I love that you were able to spend time with a couple of Kunde Chardonnays! I will give you a little hint on the chemistry behind the difference of the two designations county vs. valley on the labels. You notice in the picture above that UPC code on Valley but not on county - county is a restaurant only wine. When I choose to make a restaurant wine I am looking for a different sensation on the palette - keep in mind the idea of a patio sipper, where you lazily enjoy vs. intended to be in a food specific setting. 40% of the Chardonnay in the County designation does not go through Malo-lactic or secondary fermentation. That translates to a California Chardonnay that retains some tip-of-tongue acid to encourage a physical mouth watering reaction, you tend to engage your meal with ravenous delight. The Valley has only a small fraction of that non-malo complete wine which will cause you to slow your roll and enjoy the sunset. Your description above is right on, more acidity, in this case the grapes natural malic acid, the less nuance your taste buds might notice even though they are all grown here at home!
@WMKU Wow, thanks for the lesson! From what i tasted I completely understand what you mean. But what does it mean that there is only a UPC code on the valley? Did I drink a restaurant only wine in the county?
@WMKU interesting - I am not a fan of a concept of a “restaurant wine” vs a “non restaurant wine” - for me it feels almost manipulative, my expectation would be that I can buy a wine that i tried in a restaurant in an outlet and recreate an experience I had there at home. My wine at home is 95% of the cases about a food setting too.
Surprise, yes, Kunde winemaker here. Difference in Malic is .2g/L in the Valley and .6 g/L on the County. pH is very close, couple hundredths difference is all. Most everything else lines up about the same. Don’t also forget those two were different vintages.
Hi Friends at Casemates,
I’m signing off as I’m off to have dinner with my hubby. Hoping a delightful bottle of our Chardonnay is what we’ll be enjoying with dinner tonight. Ahi and Kunde Chardonnay - YUM! Hope you all have a great weekend.
So, day two with the same bottle - the wine changed its character a bit. The bottle (screw top) was open for probably 3-4 hours, then I closed it and put it back in the fridge. So, it got a bit of air and temperature to work with, but not a lot.
Consumed quite cold - A slight hint of butter (but very slight) was there, the tangerine aromatics disappeared a bit - and surprise, I now could perceive a bit of (non-sweet) pear in the nose and on the palate.
Disappointed that the 6-pack was not shipped in styro. Had this delivered to a Walgreen’s and picked up several days later so no way to know if the bottles were hot upon receipt and now trying to figure out what temps they were subjected to on the unprotected 4-day journey between Tracy CA (100° on 6-12), Wendover UT (93° on 6-13), Sutherland NE (89° on 6-13), Carlock IL (81° on 6-14), Grove City OH (82° on 06-14) and Twinsburg, OH (79° 06-15).
Shipped out at 100° and traveled at ~90° for 2 days. That was the outside temperature, so what would it be inside the FedEx truck? Yikes!
PnP from fridge, does not seem to be anything off about it. On the nose there is some butter, golden delicious apple and baked apple pie with maybe just a hint of pear. Palate is similar with additional notes of minerality and spice as it opens up a little and gains some complexity. I liked it better as I continued drinking.
No harm no foul, I guess, but I dislike feeling that I need to worry about temps and especially don’t like feeling forced to open a bottle ASAP to make sure it’s ok. Thankfully, with the addition of the express shipping option I can just pay a little more and stop worrying, although I sure wish WD would open up that NY hub to points West…