Kicking Off with Kenwood Winery – First Fall 2015 Tasting of SSU Wine Sense Club

SSU Winesense Kenwood Winery Tasting

SSU Winesense Kenwood Winery Tasting

Contributed by Sophia Fish – Cheers to a great first Wine Sense Club meeting for Fall 2015! We were very excited to welcome Maxwell Burns and our very own VP of Operations Matt Lopez from Kenwood Vineyards to come speak with us about their fabulous winery.

Kenwood Vineyards – Historic & Sustainable Cellar

Kenwood Vineyards was established in 1970 formerly the Pagani Brothers Winery, a historic cellar dating back to 1906. Kenwood Vineyards is devoted to producing premium wines truly representative of Sonoma County’s world class vineyards.

Kenwood Vineyards is committed to making the finest wines and treating the earth with the utmost respect. They are doing this by following sustainable growing practices . They stand by this philosophy and make every effort to reduce waste, recycle and lower their energy consumption.

Tasting of 4 Magnificent Kenwood Wines

2014 Sonoma County Sauvignon Blanc: The first is a Sauvignon Blanc with fruit sourced from vineyards located in five different appellations in Sonoma County. Aromas of white nectarine, honeydew melon and lemongrass combine with citrus and tropical flavors that give a crisp and refreshing finish.

Kennwood wines2012 Sonoma County Reserve Merlot: Next we had a 2012 Reserve Merlot from Sonoma County. The production of this reserve wine was limited to less than six percent of Kenwood Vineyards’ Merlot production. This wine is full of enticing fruit aromas of fig, plum and black cherry join with spicy notes of nutmeg.

2012 Jack London Vineyard Zinfandel: We felt incredibly lucky to taste the 2012 Zinfandel from Kenwood’s Jack London Vineyard. It was interesting to learn that over 30 years, Kenwood Vineyards has exclusively crafted wine from the single vineyards of Jack London’s historic ranch. The flavors from these vineyards emanate fruity aromas of raspberry and fig mixed with subtle notes of vanilla and pepper.

2010 Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon: Last but certainly not least, we were inspired by Kenwood’s 2010 Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon. The art featured on every bottle incorporates fine wine to make each new Artist Series release an event and every vintage a prime collectible. The Artist Series originally highlighted works by contemporary artists, then 1987 vintage broke with tradition by featuring a painting from Joan Miro.  In the years since, the Artist Series has presented works from other important artists including Pablo Picasso, Henry Miller, Alexander Calder and Vincent van Gogh. This wine is full of fragrant fruit aromas of cassis and black cherry joined with spicy notes of cinnamon.

Favorite Wines of the Evening:

At the conclusion of the tasting, and before prices were revealed, we voted on our favorite wines of the evening.  The winners were:

2010 Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon

2012 Jack London Vineyard Zinfandel

 

 

Paul Hobbs Pinot Noir and Sbragia Cabernet Sauvignon Tie as Top Favorites in Classic Red Tasting

Sbragia Wines With Cheese Platter

Sbragia Wines With Cheese Platter

What is a classic red wine grape? It is a variety that has proved it can produce consistently high quality over a long period of time in more than one region of the world. Therefore, though there are more than 120 commercially produced wine grapes, there are only 4 classic red grapes. In California, however, we add Zinfandel as well, because it is one of our most beloved State grapes:

  1. Pinot Noir – famous in Burgundy, Oregon, Sonoma, New Zealand and many other regions of the world
  2. Merlot– famous in Bordeaux, Italy, Washington, and many other regions
  3. Cabernet Sauvignon – famous in Bordeaux, Napa, Italy and other regions
  4. Syrah – famous in the Rhone, Australia, and Paso Robles
  5. Zinfandel – famous in California, Croatia and Italy
Winning Pinot Noir from Paul Hobbs Winery

Winning Pinot Noir from Paul Hobbs Winery

In a blind tasting of these five famous varietals in Bus 305W, the 42 Millennial wine business majors tied in a vote of their favorites. Paul Hobbs 2012 Russian River Pinot Noir ($55) with dark raspberry, mushroom earth and cola notes tied with the 2011 Sbragia Cabernet Sauvignon ($49), with complex cassis cedar and earthy notes from the famous Monte Rosso Vineyard. Both wines were of high quality with good balance of fruit, oak, acid and alcohol; complex flavors, excellent concentration and a very long finish.

SSU Winesense Salutes Duckhorn Vineyards and Larson Family Wineries

IMG_3733Contributed by Erica Schreckenghaust – Forty lucky SSU students were treated to exceptional wines by Duckhorn Vineyards and Larson Family wineries this month. Organized as part of the WineSense Club educational tasting seminars, the students were excited to learn about the history of these two family wineries, both established in the 1970’s.

Duckhorn Vineyards, Napa Valley

Duckhorn was founded by Dan and Margaret Duckhorn in 1976 and has become one of the premier producers of Bordeaux varietal wines. Duckhorn is known for pioneering Merlot as a premium varietal, as well as their acclaimed Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon. They strive to produce quality wines with their seven estate vineyards in Napa Valley.

Duckhorn_2010_Cabernet_zoomFor the evening, they poured a Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and their Z Red Wine Blend. The vote of favorite wines of the evening resulted in two Duckhorn winners: 1) 2013 Duckhorn Sauvignon Blanc, made up of 84% Sauvignon Blanc and 16% Semillon, from select premium Napa Valley vineyards; and 2) 2010 Duckhorn Cabernet Sauvignon, estate grown from the Patzimaro Vineyard located in the St. Helena appellation at the base of Spring Mountain. It is made of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon and 12% Merlot.

Larson Family Vineyards, Sonoma County

Larson Family planted their first vineyards in 1977 and after many years of trial and error decided to get serious, officially open their winery in 1985. Today, Larson Family Winery has 120 acres of predominantly Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grapes and continues to live their motto of “We Drink What We Can and Sell the Rest!”

LarsonNatalie and Nick, the Directors of Marketing and Sales, led the group through a tasting of six wines- 2012 Sparkling Brut, 2012 Gewürztraminer, 2012 Chardonnay, 2012 Pinot Noir, a Non-Vintage Sonoma Red Blend and the 2012 Malbec. After polling the students, the two favorite Larson Family wines were:  1) 2012 Larson Family Pinot Noir and 2) 2012 Larson Family Malbec, both from the Carneros Region.