The 2010 Kenwood Vineyards Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon is 87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 10% Merlot and 3% Syrah sourced mainly from vineyards in Alexander Valley, Dry Creek and Sonoma Valley in the Sonoma AVA of Northern California. The grapes from each individual vineyards were fermented and aged separately and then blended to taste just before bottling. This Cabernet Sauvignon was aged for 22 months in a mix of French, Eastern European and American oak barrels. Oak from different regions can be different species of oak with varied grains and can impart distinct flavors at varying rates. French oak is seen as the best oak for aging wine, but it is also the most expensive. American oak, which is known for aging Whisky, has a more open grain, so extra care is needed to give the right amount of oak influence, it is also less expensive than French oak. Eastern European oak is the same species as French oak, but cheaper. The alcohol content is 13.5%.
The color is a dark, but still see-thru burgundy red, with an almost clear rim. The nose is made up of dark berries, spearmint gum, fudge brownies and is a little on the oaky side. It has a good, full mouthfeel with nice substantial weight behind the wine. It tastes of ripe blackberries and juicy plums, a little cola, licorice and tart cranberry. The mid palate transitions to strawberry, vanilla and a slight brush from the tannins. The tannins are smooth and do not get in the way and the acidity allows this Cabernet Sauvignon a have a little bit of length. The finish is fairly full, but fades quickly.
The 2010 Kenwood Vineyards Sonoma County Cabernet is a pretty solid Cab for the money, it lists for $20 on Kenwood’s website (the website price is often a little high, they do not want to undercut the local stores), but I found it on-sale for $9.99. It can use another year or two in the bottle to really hit its stride, but it drinks quite nicely now. This is a steaks on the grill kind of Cabernet, it has more than enough texture and backbone to stand up to a well marbled delectable from the local butcher shop.