The 2011 vintage in Sonoma County kept local grape growers and wineries on their toes from beginning to end, but ultimately produced Chardonnay grapes of appealing fruit and finesse.
Kenwood Vineyards honored those grapes with a minimalist approach to winemaking that allowed this vintage character full expression in the finished wine. Vibrant, polished and elegantly complex, the just-released 2011 Kenwood Vineyards Sonoma County Chardonnay is a charmer in every way.
The 2011 growing season in Sonoma County featured a late start, rain in early June that reduced the grape crop, cool weather through much of summer and a warm September that finally brought early ripening grapes such as Chardonnay to full maturity. Sourced from Sonoma County’s coolest appellations – Russian River Valley and southern Sonoma Valley – and picked at full maturity, Kenwood Vineyards’ Chardonnay grapes displayed bright citrus fruit, gossamer texture and impressive balance. The grapes were gently whole-cluster pressed to avoid tannin extraction. Two-thirds of the juice was fermented and aged in French oak for just five months – during which it remained on the yeast lees and underwent malolactic fermentation – to gain a modicum of complexity and richness. The other third was fermented and aged in stainless steel. The two lots were blended just prior to bottling.
The 2011 Kenwood Vineyards Sonoma County Chardonnay features the new Kenwood Vineyards Sonoma Series package. While retaining the familiar brand name typeface, the new front and back labels showcase uncluttered design, tasteful typography, and a QR code for accessing additional information on the wine via smartphone or tablet. The new Kenwood Vineyards Sonoma Series package also includes a screw-cap bottle closure on Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay – wines intended for immediate consumption.
Fresh, vibrant aromas of grapefruit, pear and Meyer lemon, accented by subtle undertones of vanilla, introduce the 2011 Kenwood Vineyards Sonoma County Chardonnay in delightful style. Equally fresh lemon, lime and grapefruit flavors are complemented by background mineral notes. Bright yet polished, with just a hint of weight on the palate, this tasty Chardonnay stays rich and crisp through its long finish. A relatively small (by this popular wine’s standard) 78,700 cases of the 2011 Kenwood Vineyards Sonoma County Chardonnay were produced. It is available nationally at a suggested retail of $15.
Established in 1970 in the Sonoma Valley, Kenwood Vineyards produces premium wines that showcase the world-class quality and character of Sonoma County vineyards.