Kenwood winery was one of the first vineyards we visited during our initial drip to the Sonoma and Napa Valley regions. The experience gained during this trip is not easily forgotten. It was the perfect setup of a perfect California day complemented by a tasting room that was essentially a private experience until a couple turned up as we were ready to leave. We gained so much knowledge during this trip that it will forever be an experience to remember. This was also our introduction to Pinot Noir Chocolate Sauce – truly a delightful creation.
Located within Sonoma Valley region, Kenwood winery produces a number of quality wines beyond Pinot Noir including Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay to name a few. Utilizing several different locations for their grapes, wines can be crafted to create specific terroirs at the wine makers request. Their staple wines utilize grapes grown within the Sonoma County region while Their pinnacle wine, in my opinion, comes from a single-vineyard located on the iconic Jack London estate. There they have created award winning Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, and Syrah. However, not to be completely outdone, this Pinot Noir utilized grapes from the Russian River Valley. The unique cool misty climate found within the RRV provides an optimal setting for growing world-class Pinot Noir grapes. The use of these grapes within this Pinot Noir RRV 2013 Reserve wine ensured that we would be fans of Kenwood winery for many years to come!
Visual: This was a non-gaseous pale red colored wine with hints of brick suggesting a small degree of aging associated with the wine. Upon visualization it was clear without sedimentation. Swirling the wine produced legs that were slow to return to the wine indicating a higher alcohol content. The meniscus of the wine was nearly uniform to the color with an occasional hint of oxidation through its brick coloration.
Nose: The nose of the wine suggested a moderate to aromatic intensity with some age. The profile of the wine first suggested red fruit, cherries predominated with subtle cranberries. This was complimented by cloves and spice followed by a mineral-earthy notation. There was also a hints of leather helping to round out the aromas of the wine.
Taste: The wine was off-dry and had a light-to-medium body. The acidity level was considered smooth. There were low soft tannins preset which provided a wonderful balance between the acidity-tannin-sugar levels. The wine was quite flavorful with a forward red fruit followed by spices. We noted cherries, raspberries and potentially blackberries. Additionally, the minerality of the wine came through on the taste as well. Hints of clove, nutmeg and subtle baking spices helped round out the flavor profile. There was an unidentified flavor that we couldn’t quite place with the wine – even after reading the reviews of the wine we were still unable to quite identify. The finish of the wine was quite long (>8 secs) and would qualify as luscious and lasting.
Our Overall Impression
- This was a beautifully balanced wine – with perfect balance of tannins and acidity
- The light nature of the wine allows for it to be paired wonderfully with food but equally capable of being enjoyed on its own
- Everything about the wine suggested Pinot Noir, from the visualization of the wine to the nose and taste – your classic Pinot Noir – except on a different level than most
- Food pairing match was nearly perfect. The lightness of the wine paired nicely with white meat of the chicken while the spice and clove complemented the stuffing
Price: $13.99 (average price)
Vivino Rating: 3.5 out of 5
Our Rating: 94 out of 100
Tasting Date: 11/13/17
What we paired it with: Baked Chicken and Stuffing
Wine Name – Pinot Noir – Reserve
Producer – Kenwood Winery
Region/appellation – Russian River Valley
Grape Varieties – Pinot Noir
Vintage – 2013
Alcohol – 14.5%
Barrel – American Oak
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