After a long, wet winter and spring it appears summer may finally have arrived. I hope. That means we’re ready to slip more white wines and lighter red wines into our wine rotation. Kenwood Vineyards sent us two such wines as tasting samples that will be delicious dining companions in the months to come.
The Six Ridges line of wines from Kenwood Vineyards is named after the ridges and mountains that border their vineyards. Wines in this range are made using grapes from the best vineyard sites located within the Sonoma County sub-appellations.
Also included with these wines were two Kenwood insulated tumblers to keep our wine cool on a warm afternoon. We put them in the refrigerator ahead of time and then poured a splash of wine before heading outside to sit in the shade for a spell.
2018 Kenwood Vineyards Six Ridges Sauvignon Blanc, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma County — light yellow in the glass with generous aromas of tart gooseberries and cut grass. Flavors follow the aromas with a tart finish that is weighted toward acidity. 13.5% abv. SRP $22
This bright, lively Sauvignon Blanc will please you if you prefer a less tropical style of Sauvignon Blanc. There is no mistaking this variety for anything else. Pair this Sauvignon Blanc with herbed goat cheese, charcuterie, fettuccini Alfredo with chicken or sautéed fish.
The sprawling Sonoma Coast AVA reaches from Mendocino in the north to San Pablo Bay in the south. Breezes from the Pacific Ocean keep temperatures cool and extend the growing season here.
The winery describes Sauvignon Blanc grown on the coast as “producing outstanding Sauvignon Blanc with intense flavor and strong varietal character.” This stainless-steel fermented and aged Sauvignon Blanc is exactly that.
2017 Kenwood Vineyards Six Ridges Pinot Noir, Russian River Valley, Sonoma County — translucent ruby in the glass with generous aromas of blackberries, berry bramble and dried mint. Ripe raspberry and blackberry flavors combine with dusty earth and hints of cedar and black pepper. Tannins are smooth and well integrated with the flavors. The body is medium. 15.2% abv. $30
Morning fog and afternoon ocean breezes follow the Russian River inland to moderate temperatures in the Russian River Valley. This Pinot Noir announces itself with its beautiful translucent ruby color. The lovely, berry bramble aromas confirm its identity.
Sip it on its own, or better yet, pair this Pinot Noir with a meal. At 15.2% it is a bit high in alcohol for my sipping preference, though the alcohol isn’t evident in the flavors. It will be lovely with charcuterie, roasted chicken, grilled lamb chops or even a burger.
Individual vineyard lots were fermented separately on the skins, settled twice and racked twice before aging for 9 months in small French oak barrels.
Kenwood Vineyards is undoubtedly a name you recognize as a maker of quality wines. Both of these wines confirm that reputatio, as have the Kenwood wines we’ve tasted in the past.