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Kenwood Jack London Vineyard Zinfandel 2006

Zinfandel from Sonoma County, California
  • WE92
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Winemaker Notes

Author Jack London once wrote of Sonoma County, "The air is wine. Across Sonoma Mountain, wisps of sea fog are stealing. The afternoon sun smolders in the drowsy sky. I have everything to make me glad I am alive."

This patch of earth that so captivated Mr. London is home to Kenwood Vineyards. Kenwood plants, farms and harvests the historical, lava-terraced vineyards of Jack London's ranch, producing Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Merlot wines. Made only from Jack London vineyard grapes, these three wines are savored for their mint-accented berry flavors and smooth finishes. The dramatic Jack London label -- a replica of the wolf's head Jack London used as his book-plate logo -- has created tremendous consumer interest and recognition in the wines.

Intense aroma of boysenberry accented by hints of white pepper, rich viscous body with flavors of dried cherries and a long excellent finish. Long recognized for its superior red wines, the first Zinfandel was produced from the Jack London Vineyard in 1988. Located on Sonoma Mountain with a southeasterly exposure, the climatic conditions and long, cool growing season of this viticultural area create complexity and balance in the fruit. The influence of the vineyard's red volcanic soil and the fruity characteristics of the grapes combine to produce an excellent, very distinctive Zinfandel.

Critical Acclaim

WE 92
Wine Enthusiast

This Zin shows classic Sonoma County character, but it’s also a tannic, young wine that wants a little time in the bottle. Tasted at the age of two, it’s jammy, with pepper-infused blackberry and mulberry flavors and a gamey touch of smoked beef. Give it until mid-2009, when it will be fantastic with grilled beef.

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Kenwood

Kenwood

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Kenwood, , California
Kenwood
Located in the heart of the Sonoma Valley, Kenwood Vineyards is dedicated to producing premium wines truly representative of Sonoma County’s world-class vineyards.

Kenwood Vineyards was established in 1970 in the former Pagani Brothers Winery, a historic cellar dating back to 1906. Thoroughly refurbished and modernized, the facility now boasts more than 125 stainless steel fermenting tanks and large oak uprights, and 20,000 small French and American oak barrels, all devoted to Kenwood Vineyards’ “small lot” style of winemaking.

In addition to the 22-acre vineyard surrounding the winery, Kenwood Vineyards sources grapes from dozens of vineyards – many farmed sustainably, using natural soil amendments and pest controls whenever possible rather than chemicals - in Sonoma County’s best appellations, including Russian River Valley, Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Sonoma Valley and Sonoma Mountain. Each lot from each vineyard is kept separate throughout the winemaking process, enabling the winemaker to bring it to its fullest potential. This “small lot” or “cuvee” style of winemaking also enables the winemaker to draw on an exceptionally broad “palette” to assemble wines that showcase classic character, subtle complexity and superb balance. As a result, every Kenwood Vineyards wine – whether Table Wine Series, Sonoma Series, Reserve, Jack London Vineyard or Artist Series – is consistent in quality and consistently delicious.

South Africa

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An underappreciated wine-producing country currently undergoing a renaissance, South Africa has a surprisingly long and rich history considering its status as part of the “New World” of wine. In the mid-17th century, the lusciously sweet dessert wines of Constantia were highly prized by the European aristocracy. Since then, the South African wine industry has experienced some setbacks due to the phylloxera infestation of the late 1800s and political difficulties throughout the following century. Today, however, it is increasingly responsible for high-quality wines that are helping to put the country back on the international wine map. Wine production is mainly situated around Cape Town, where the climate is generally warm to hot, but the Benguela current from Antarctica provides the brisk ocean breezes necessary for steady ripening. Similarly, cooler high-elevation vineyard sites offer climatic diversity.

South Africa’s wine regions are divided into region, then smaller districts, and finally wards, but the country’s wine styles are differentiated more by grape variety than by region. Pinotage, a cross between Pinot Noir and Cinsault, is the country’s “signature” grape, responsible for earthy, gamey reds. When Pinotage is blended with other red varieties, like Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, or Pinot Noir (all commonly vinified alone as well), it is often labeled as a “Cape Blend.” Chenin Blanc (locally known as “Steen”) dominates white wine production, with Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc following behind.

Other Red Blends

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With hundreds of red grape varieties to choose from, winemakers have the freedom to create a virtually endless assortment of blended wines. In many European regions, strict laws are in place determining the set of varieties that may be used, but in the New World experimentation is permitted and encouraged. Blending can be utilized to create complex wines with many different layers of flavors and aromas, or to create more balanced wines. For example, a variety that is soft and full-bodied may be combined with one that is lighter with naturally high acidity. Sometimes small amounts of a particular variety are added to boost color or aromatics. Blending can take place before or after fermentation, with the latter, more popular option giving more control to the winemaker over the final qualities of the wine.

ALL5576446_2006 Item# 98071

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