Kenwood Vineyards was established in 1970 in the former Pagani Brothers Winery, a historic cellar dating back to 1906. Thoroughly refurbished and modernized, the facility now boasts more than 125 stainless steel fermenting tanks and large oak uprights, and 20,000 small French and American oak barrels, all devoted to Kenwood Vineyards’ “small lot” style of winemaking.
Kenwood has a few hundred acres of vines in Sonoma Valley, Dry Creek Valley and Russian River Valley, but still sources about half of their grapes. “It’s a good ratio to have,” says winemaker Pat Henderson. "It doesn’t always make good business sense to buy land.” They have had contracts to purchase grapes from some of the same growers for more than 30 years.
2012 Kenwood Chardonnay, Sonoma, $10.99
Aromas of Gravenstein apples, lime and ginger combine with toasty vanilla notes, a lush and viscous mouthfeel, with a crisp mineral quality to the finish. This refreshing Chardonnay is enjoyable as an aperitif and as an accompaniment to fresh greens, chicken and seafood dishes -- particularly shark, mussels and scallops.
201l Kenwood Pinot Noir, Russian River, $14.99
Excellent aroma of raspberry, plum and lavender join with notes of nutmeg and forest floor; bright acidity with smooth tannins and a lasting finish. This fruity Pinot Noir is wonderfully versatile on the table and can be served with a wide range of foods, including pork, chicken, lamb and wild salmon.
2009 Kenwood Artist Series Cabernet, $55.00
This 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon marks the 35th vintage of the Kenwood Vineyards Artist Series. Deeply colored, it captivates with sumptuous cassis, black raspberry, cedar and forest aromas. Powerful yet lithe flavors of cassis, blackberry, licorice and peppermint gain additional complexity from a subtle hint of earth.
In the glass, the aromas become fuller, with the flavors gaining depth, nuance and polish. The generous, seamless palate –- with weight, structure and balance in perfect harmony –- culminates in a long, elegant finish. While already approachable, the 2009 Kenwood Vineyards Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon promises additional evolution with cellaring.
The Jack London vineyard creates distinctive red wines that have a loyal following throughout the world. The red volcanic soil and pleasantly warm climate of this hillside location combine to produce rich, full-bodied wines. Located on Sonoma Mountain with a southeastern exposure, this vineyard is above the fog level and gets early-morning sun followed by late-afternoon breezes that temper the day’s most extreme heat. The result of this exceptional terroir is grapes of great distinction that make wines with superb flavor and deep, rich color.
2010 Jack London Merlot, $18.99
Flavorful aromas of plum and fig combine with delicate hints of sage and pipe tobacco. The rich fruit flavors found in this Merlot complement a wide range of dishes, including braised beef, rich stews and pastas.
2010 Jack London Zinfandel, $18.99
Bright raspberry aromas combine with subtle notes of vanilla and white pepper. Delicate well-structured tannins provide an elegant mouth feel and a long finish. The wild berry and spice flavors of this rich and elegant Zinfandel are a perfect complement to tomato sauce dishes, grilled fish and steak and rich chocolate desserts.
2010 Jack London Cabernet Sauvignon, $26.00
Lively aromas of boysenberry and fig are backed by aromatic notes of cigar box, mint and a touch of vanilla. The wine has a rich, full-bodied mouth feel with an excellent finish. The intense and elegant flavors of the 2010 Jack London Cabernet Sauvignon complement a variety of hearty entrées, including steak, lamb and roasted meats.