Of course, it’s hard to find any, but there are usually about eight to 15 barrels of his estate Chardonnay from Coombsville called “The Judge” in honor of his father. From old Wente clones originally planted in 1975, yields are rarely in excess of one ton of fruit per acre, which no doubt accounts for its extraordinary intensity and richness. The 2013 Chardonnay The Judge is perfect, and certainly one of the greatest Chardonnays I have ever tasted. Keeping in mind that Kongsgaard is no youngster at this game (2015 was his 41st vintage making wine), his 2013 The Judge, from the white volcanic soil in Coombsville called tufa, is an amazing wine of great intensity, power, glory, elegance, texture, density and richness. The wine offers up loads of tangerine oil, caramelized citrus, honeysuckle, white peach, apricots, and wet stones. It seems to be a smorgasbord of aromas and flavors that just keep opening as the wine sits in the mouth. This is an amazing effort and one of the greatest Chardonnays ever made in California. One of the great wine producers in Napa Valley, John Kongsgaard first worked at Newton winery, where he had been taught well by the world guru in winemaking, Michel Rolland. When he went out on his own, he developed a strong relationship with the Hudson family and now produces fruit from specially planted clones in the Hudson Vineyard, while also maintaining his own estate on Atlas Peak in Coombsville. All of his wines are unfined, unfiltered, singular in style, and often some of the most expressive and remarkable wines in Napa Valley. Talking to John Kongsgaard is akin to talking to some medieval wizard or mystic, but it all makes sense.