Conundrum is a kitchen-sink blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Sémillon, Viognier, Muscat Canelli and other varieties (the winery won’t disclose the actual percentages of the blend). It’s very popular in some circles, partly because it’s slightly off-dry, made in large quantities, is well-distributed and carries a relatively modest price tag (around $22 at retail).
Of course, all of that makes it unpopular in some other wine circles. Purists and terroir lovers would argue that this wine has little to do with a sense of place, and thus isn’t a good wine. Well, they’re partly right. I agree that drinking Conundrum takes you to nowhere in particular, as opposed to, say, a light, dry Provençal rosé or a big, showy Barossa Shiraz.
But that doesn’t mean Conundrum isn’t a good wine. Remove the “style” argument and its image as a non-terroir crowd pleaser (these influences are reasons we taste blind when officially reviewing wines) and what you have is a clean, fruity, juicy wine that sports lots of tangerine, apricot and apple flavors, which are round and easy to like. As for matching with food, it also happened to go perfectly well with the turkey curry I made with the Thanksgiving leftovers. 86 points for me, non-blind.
WineSpectator.com members: Read the original blind-tasting review for Conundrum California 2007 (88, $24).
• Plus, get our quick list of Easy Finds among California whites.
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