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Monday, March 21, 2016

Conundrum, the classic 'cult' wine celebrates it's 25th Anniversary by Philip S. Kampe





Years ago, I was introduced to a white wine that was a blend of various grapes. The wine was unique and quickly turned into an ‘underground’ wine at the time. It was 1991 and the wine was called ‘Caymus Conundrum’, a wine from the Wagner family.

As the years past, the name of the wine was reduced to ‘Conundrum’. This ‘underground’ wine was now considered a ‘cult’ wine.

Whenever an invitation to a dinner party appeared, the purchase of two bottles of this aromatic, white blended wine called Conundrum was my way in. I had the Conundrum story down pat and told the story over dinner to the party guests.

The story goes like this, Charles Wagner Sr., a co-founder of Caymus Vineyards, always played with his wines at the dinner table. He was always looking for the perfect glass of wine to accompany his food. (today,it is called a pairing)  At the dinner table, Charles Sr. would mix the various white wines on the table to create the perfect glass of wine. This was in 1972.

In 1989, Mr. Wagner was proud to announce the birth of Conundrum white, which was a mysterious blend of white grapes. His wine was considered to be both complex and versatile with food. Often, there were tropical notes, somewhat similar to today’s New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. Other days, the bottles had different aromatics.

The uniqueness of Conundrum white was enough to create a ‘cult’ following and a worship of what really was in this bottle.

In 2011, Conundrum red was introduced to the market and like the white, the ever-changing blend of grapes and varied aromatics have made this wine an overnight success.

To this day, I always choose to bring a couple bottles of Conundrum, one white and one red, as gifts for a dinner party, as both blends tend to pair well with most foods.

Easter is around the corner. I am cooking for nine guests and have already purchased my Conundrum wine for the event.

This is the 25th Anniversary of Conundrum, a wine that will always be part of my life. For under $17 a bottle (red) and $13 (white), I get to tell my Conundrum story to a new group of friends.

In time,this may be their ‘cult’ wine of choice?

                                                          




Philip S. Kampe
philip.kampe@thewinehub.com
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