Published on April 29th, 2016 | by Greg0
Solving The California Puzzle: Conundrum’s Well-Priced Wines
With the Kentucky Derby and Cinco de Mayo just around the corner, you might be focused on spirits for your parties. But there should always be room for wine- and especially the addition of some bottles appropriate for Spring. Heavier cabernets are well-suited to winter, but when the temperatures warm up, you’ll want something a little lighter-bodied. Rain can make for colder nights though, so it’s best to be prepared for both- a room temperature red and a chilled white, perfect for your groups and gatherings.
The Conundrum brand marks their 25th anniversary this year, and Wagner is celebrating the occasion in their classic style: well-priced, eminently drinkable blends, easy to pair and accessible. We tasted the 2014 Conundrum White and 2013 Conundrum Red, and could see the family resemblance since we’ve enjoyed them before.
Affordable California wines are tough to find, and though you can find cheaper bottles, few will have the history, know-how, and expertise of the Wagner Family of Wine (also behind Caymus and Mer Soleil). They keep each parcel of grapes separate, playing with flavors and profiles each year to come up with something intriguing, sometimes combining non-traditional varietals. Their white wine blends Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Muscat Canelli, and Viognier in a fruity, smooth, balanced wine that has a touch of apricot and tropical fruit with enough tart at the end to keep your tongue curious.
The red uses Zinfandel and Petite Syrah grapes, and starts with some plum and berry notes, finishing with a classic oak. There’s a little tannin, but it never hit leather or smoke, and that makes it better for burgers than steaks. It’s a solid table wine that will have friend asking where it’s from. And each bottle of the 25th Anniversary Conundrum runs around $25.