The 2008 Kenwood Sonoma County Zinfandel is 87% Zinfandel, 10% Petite Sirah, 2% Sangiovese and 1% Barbera sourced from vineyards in Sonoma, Alexander Valley and Dry Creek. Kenwood has been in business since 1970 and are currently owned by F. Korbel, the California Sparkling wine company. The different lots of grapes from each vineyard were fermented and aged separately (the aging was 19 months in French and American oak barrels) and then blended to taste, this vintage Petite Sirah, Sangiovese and Barbera were added. What grapes get added and how much changes with each vintage. The alcohol content is 13.5% on the bottle and 14.5% on Kenwood’s website. This Zinfandel lists for $17, but I found it on sale for $9.99.
The color is dark but see thru ruby red with black highlights. The nose is floral with notes of ripe red fruit, some oaky vanilla, sawdust and coffee. This is a nicely balanced Zinfandel, it has the ripe fruit and spice, but in measured amounts. It tastes of cherry, dark chocolate, slightly creamy vanilla, orange zest and raspberry. The mid palate transitions with a slap of slightly dusty, but sweet tannins, subdued Altoid’s spice, blackberry and Nestle’s Quik powder. The acidity shows up on the finish and helps a full, strong finish last awhile.
The 2008 Kenwood Sonoma County Zinfandel is somewhat leaner, more refined and elegant while still retaining some of Zinfandels rough and ready, crowd pleasing elements. While most Zinfandels scream out to be paired with BBQ, the Kenwood Sonoma Zin can hang with the BBQ crowd and still be right at home at a more upscale Steakhouse (though an upscale Steakhouse would probably try to sell you a much more expensive bottle). This summer, pay a little more for a better cut of beef, because you can make up the difference, by saving a few bucks on the Kenwood Zin over a pricey Napa Cab.