May 2018 Domestic Wine: 2016 Kenwood Vineyards, Pinot Noir Sonoma County, California
Fine Wine Source Wine
Kenwood Vineyards was established in the 1970s in the very heart of Sonoma, where together with a handful of wineries, they started premium winemaking in the region, long before the region’s AVAs were even created. As one of California’s premium wine pioneers, they now benefit from a strong heritage and pedigree. They initiated their passion project in an original Sonoma barn building that dates back to 1906, where they have remained since. They stay true to their historical past by producing wines from each vineyard separately, as they did 46 vintages ago. They have been crafting the iconic Jack London single vineyard wines for nearly 40 years, and as they look towards the future, they craft new premium wines and invest in their home and their vineyards. Their new ranges are pure expressions of the rich and diverse terroir of Sonoma.
Kenwood sources grapes throughout Sonoma County to assemble their award winning wines, placing particular focus on the AVA’s they consider the most interesting. Located in the Northwest of the San Francisco Bay Area region of California, Sonoma County has 17 AVA’s and around 60,000 acres under vine. The majority of the grapes for the 2016 Pinot Noir come from Sonoma’s celebrated Russian River Valley AVA, where the terroir combined with the ocean’s cooling winds create optimal conditions for growing Pinot Noir. The 2016 vintage had an early dry Spring followed by a long mild Summer, which gave the vineyards time to slowly mature the fruit to peak flavor. The fruit was harvested in late September and early October, with each lot kept separate throughout fermentation and aging to preserve the unique flavors and characteristics of the wine. It was then aged in oak barrels for 9 months, resulting in a classic, medium-bodied Sonoma California Pinot Noir.
99% Pinot Noir & 1% Syrah
Blackberry, black raspberries, Bing cherries, mocha with a touch of vanilla greet the nose and lead into a classic California Pinot Noir with balanced acidity, soft tannins and a medium body.
Pinot Noir is the most versatile wine for food pairing. Think oily fish, like cedar plank salmon on the grill, or poultry, like a chicken Marsala. An interesting pairing would be the Kenwood Pinot Noir with a hand tossed and homemade mushroom pizza drizzled with a fig balsamic vinegar. For the vegan, mushroom risotto or Mediterranean style dishes; Greek, Lebanese, or North Africa stylings.
Jim Lutfy’s Thoughts:
Begins elegantly and ends with a rich and full finish. Great producer in Kenwood, Great Grape in Pinot Noir, and Great are in Sonoma: The end result is fabulous! This Pinot Noir is best served with oily fish and grilled meats or vegetables.