CONUNDRUM — first released as a white blend (1989) and later a red (2011) — has handsome new packaging for the brand’s 25th anniversary. Conundrum was born out of the spontaneous mixing of various bottles at the dinner table by the legendary Charles (Charlie) F. Wagner, who co-founded the famous Caymus Vineyards in Napa Valley in 1972 and created some of the valley’s greatest Cabernet Sauvignons. And he did all that “mixing” at the table to come up with the perfect glass for his meal. Today, the brand, always a blend, is produced under the direction of Charlie’s grandson, Charlie Wagner II, and winemaker Jon Bolta. Grapes are from vineyards in various California wine regions including Paicines in San Benito County, the Salinas Valley and Arroyo Seco.
Conundrum Red Wine Blend 2013, $25: This wine pours dark as midnight and seduces the palate with intense dark berry fruit, cherry, dark plum and cocoa flavors. It’s a decadent, full-bodied blend of dark red varietals led by Zinfandel and Petite Sirah. With the DNA from the famous Wagner family and Caymus, there should be no conundrum about pouring this bottle.
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