When I am doing some impromptu wine tastings at The Fine Wine Source in Livonia, I always enjoy the chance to try wines from the same winery, if possible. I had that chance, and a winery that I haven’t ran into for a while, but I really enjoyed it the last time. The winery is Kenwood Vineyards and they began in 1970 when they bought the winery of the Pagani Brothers, a California producer that began in 1906 and been successful prior to Prohibition, that time when the government thought that they could dictate morals. The winery has gone through some changes of ownership, in 1999 they were bought by F. Korbel and Bros. In 2014 the international Pernod Ricard bought them and since then they have almost doubled production. To put things in perspective, the last time that I had the wine, it was from the original owners from the 1970 creation of the former winery.
While Kenwood Vineyards is located in Sonoma County, Sonoma County actually has seventeen sub-appellations located there and some are famed for certain grape varietals. The first wine we tried was the Kenwood Six Ridges Cabernet Sauvignon 2015. The Six Ridges refer to the mountain ranges that create the Sonoma area and Kenwood has six different wines for this collection. This particular wine is from the Alexander Valley and was fermented on the skins for twenty-two days, then settled and racked twice before the wine was aged for twenty-four months in small oak barrels. The oak used was a mixture of French, Hungarian and American. This was a big Cabernet Sauvignon wine with delivered a lot more terroir then I had expected and was really a tasty wine, and we all enjoyed this wine.
The other wine that we tasted was a wine that I had, when the winery was much smaller in scope and featured a single vineyard and they still continue this wine. The Kenwood Jack London Vineyard Cabernet 2014 was the wine that I crooked an eyebrow at. The last time that I had this wine it just carried the Sonoma County AVA, and now the Jack London Vineyard carries the sub-appellation of Sonoma Mountain AVA. The wine was almost all Cabernet Sauvignon with a touch of Merlot. The wine spent twenty-four days on the skins fermenting, before being racked and aged for twenty-four months in a mixture of French, Hungarian and American Oak barrels. This was a big wine, like I remember and thankfully the major corporation did not attempt to water this wine down for more production. Once again, a wine that gave me my terroir, black cherries and some figs and a nice long finish. Once again, we were all happy.