Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve range @ Hilton Bucharest
On May 31, 2012 I attended a tasting of 6 wines from Kendall-Jackson organized by Lerida, the Romanian importer of these wines, at Hilton Hotel in Bucharest. The event was organized as a small wine fair, where people could go from one table to another and taste each individual wine, and started with a short presentation of the producer and its wines given by Mr Sergiu Nedelea.
I found out that Kendall-Jackson controls approximately 6,000 ha of vines in Sonoma, Monterey and Santa Barbara County and is producing wines for nearly three decades. The Romanian importer offered two whites and four reds from the Vintner’s Reserve range for the tasting.
As an overall impression, these cannot be characterized as subtle wines – especially the whites that march rather heavily on toasty oak flavors, while the reds are intended for relatively short to medium term drinking. All wines are pleasantly balanced and have good, relatively low alcohol levels (13-13.8%), with minty aromas (the reds) that make them easier to drink and enjoy.
2010 Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Sauvignon Blanc can benefit from a little aeration in the glass. It starts with a pronounced smoky nose initially, but, as it settles down, it gives some nice floral aromas underneath the ripe white fruit. Round and mouth-filling with a honeysuckle finish.
2010 Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay is deeply gold colored and has intense aromas of toasty oak and butter, full bodied and creamy on the palate, with intense tropical flavors and a medium finish. This is a bit too oaky for me.
I also tasted:
– 2008 Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Pinot Noir, highly extracted, but balanced overall;
– 2008 Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Merlot that shows a good structure, probably the best of the 4 reds tasted, and feels supple on the palate;
– 2008 Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Shiraz with pronounced spicy aromas, a dense and rich nose, but also showing some unusual metallic flavors (other people I discussed with sampled the same wine from a different bottle that showed a cooked character, so it seems there are some bottle variations for Shiraz). Balanced and enjoyable overall.
– 2007 Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon was rather closed both on the nose as on the palate, and only after a few good tens of minutes in the glass showed a more expressive, fruit driven profile.