Hello Wine Club Members!
With the cold winter months upon us now is the perfect time to cozy up with some lively wine offerings to shake of that chill. Even at my house, I am reaching further back in the cellar for the bolder and more structured reds and properly selected richly structured white wines. This current selection of releases holds a treasure trove of opportunities to pop a cork with close friends and family and pair for the cool evenings. The range of wines you will find offer glorious structure, ripeness and personality with many years ahead of them I would encourage you to try a bottle now and stash away others for later evaluation.
As for what is occurring within the cellar we are slowly evaluating our 2022’s for assemblage of blends and preparation for bottling. The Chardonnays have finished malo-lactic for several months now and have developed the desired secondary and flavors from their time in oak. Secondary in evolution are the reds which are being slowly selected and evaluated for the expression of the vast diversity of new and older cooperages. By having a healthy stock of different oak types and toast we have a large selection of potential options to select from to pin-point the prime options for the wine that deserve. The 2023 wines are all barreled down or in full tanks and we successfully finished primary fermentation on all lots (a big winemakers task to check off the to do list). A majority of the reds have completed malo, received their protective dose of SO2 and will reside for an additional 12-20 months depending upon their evolution and varietal. It is a bit on the early side to say which barrels are the best but the promise is showing and we will continue to check in on them as that magic alchemy is happening with the barrels imparting its lovely secrets into our favorite blocks. The white wines have also finished primary and either reside in the barrels they fermented in getting occasional lees stirring for added body and complexity or are in tank. The Sauvignon Blanc for Discoveries are to be bottled shortly as they require minimal aging.
With the holidays behind us and winter looking to ease its grip it is not too early to ponder the approach of bud break and the potential of the next vintage. While the seasons and the work may change there is always something to look forward to as cycle makes yet another turn here in Sonoma County at Kenwood wines. Come by the tasting room and say hello. Our wine family is waiting to see you.
Mark Beaman Kenwood Vineyards Winemaker
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The Barn Chardonnay 2018
APPELATION 100% Chardonnay
The wine opens with aromas of caramelized pear, toasty oak and lemon meringue, underscored by interesting notes of brioche, nutmeg and cocoa bean. The palate is rich and well-structured with bright flavors of Meyer Lemon cream pie, subtle nuances of tropical guava and a lingering finish.
A balance of power and grace meander through our Barn Pinot Noir. Ample cherry fruit and decadent chocolaty oak weave their way through this indulgent rendition that captivates the palate. Testament to a style that only Sonoma county can achieve.
Our Rugged Elements Green Valley Chardonnay offers classic aromas of Asian pear apple, hints of baking spice, pleasant minerality and a creamy texture. The mouthfeel is rich and broad with balanced bright acidity and a flavorful mélange of ripe pear, pineapple core and creamy oak, beeswax and a toasted nut finish.
Kenwood Vineyards 2021 Rugged Elements Lone Pine Vineyard Malbec
APPELATION 98.5% Malbec, 1.5% Cabernet Sauvignon
The grapes were hand-harvested in the early morning hours of October 26th, 2019 and destemmed to tank. After 16 days on the skins the free run was drained to tank, settled, then barreled down. After 14 months in barrel the winemakers selected the ideal barrels for the blend — 40% new oak, 75% American and 25% French oak barrels.
At the north end of the hot Dry Creek Valley lies a dry-farmed, head-trained vineyard of Zinfandel of unknown clone type. Planted nearly 100 years ago, these goblet vines yield on average just two tons per acre. The concentrated flavors remain in balance with a broad and deep texture accentuated by the additon of Petite sirah from the same vineyard. Extended aging in French barrels for 17 months has tempered this wine and allowed a long maturation. This bottling marks the Grande Finale vintage of this vineyard, with these old, low-producing vines being replaced with new ones—a sad eventuality for old vineyards. A collector’s item, this bottle will be long-lived.
Kenwood Vineyards 2021 Rugged Elements Wasson Cabernet Sauvignon
APPELATION 100% Cabernet Sauvignon
The Wasson vineyard is located in the Alexander Valley region of Sonoma County. Over time, the nearby Russian River’s powerful flooding and constant motion has left behind soils rich with clay and gravel – a terroir that now defines the Wasson Vineyard. The Alexander Valley’s warm days and cool nights create an ideal environment for delicious, fruit-driven Cabernet Sauvignon.