I recently had the opportunity to participate in Kunde Family Estate’s virtual tasting and Ustream live video broadcast event, aptly named #KundeLive. This tasting event featured fourth generation wine-growers Marcia and Jeff Kunde, winemaker Zach Long, and several of my good wine blogging buddies. Kunde Family Estate is a family-owned and operated producer in Kenwood, California. Their 1,850 acre estate is situated in the heart of the Sonoma Valley, with more than 700 acres under vine. The producer’s roots – no pun intended, date back to 1904 when founder Louis Kunde, who emigrated from Germany, purchased Wildwood Vineyards (originally planted to Zinfandel in 1879). Today, Kunde is operated by fourth and fifth generation family members and is committed to sustainable agriculture and responsible vineyard practices. Their portfolio consists of a diverse selection of 100% estate-grown wines.
The Kunde Family Estate #KundeLive Lineup
For our event, we tasted the 2011 Magnolia Lane Sauvignon Blanc (SRP $17), 2009 Red Dirt Red (SRP $30), and the 2009 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (SRP $45). I confess, I typically don’t look to California for Sauvignon Blanc [I know … shame on me]. However, I have recently enjoyed several tasty California examples that offer bright aromas, fresh flavors and good balance. The Sonoma Valley Magnolia Lane Sauvignon Blanc, named after the 100+ year old Magnolia trees that boarder the Kunde Family Vineyards ranch entrance, embodies the three aforementioned qualities -- bright, fresh, and balanced. It’s a pleasant, food-friendly, summer sipper that offers fresh tropical fruits and lemon grass scents with nice palate weight, yet bright acidity and clean fruit flavors. Approximately 5% of the wine was fermented and aged in neutral French oak and a splash (1%) of barrel fermented Semillon was added to enhance the texture.
The 2009 Red Dirt Red, a blend of 30% Barbera, 26% Petite Sirah, 22% Syrah, 15% Zinfandel and 7% Sangiovese, pays tribute to the red volcanic soils formed at the estate a very long time ago [notes suggest 5 million years]. The Red Dirt Red offers ripe brambly mixed berry fruit and dried cherry aromas with a touch of spice. The palate has a slightly grainy texture, supple tannins, and a harmonic structure with a pleasing medium-length finish. Following the tasting event, the Red Dirt Red paired wonderfully with my smoked brisket dinner.
Last up, the 2009 Estate Reserve Sonoma Cabernet Sauvignon is a delicious wine that I described on Twitter that evening as “, ... sassy, sophisticated, and succulent." The Cabernet fruit is grown on some of the highest peaks on Kunde’s mountain top vineyard. Winemaker Zachary Long says, “We feel with a view this spectacular, the grapes must be exceptional!” The Cabernet exhibits a nice range of depth, complexity, and nuance, boasting cherry, blackberry jam, cocoa powder, and toffee aromas that extend to the palate with a rich texture, well integrated tannins, and a lasting finish. I’ve enjoyed wines from Kunde Family Estate on numerous occasions and they have always been solid and what I consider fairly priced (aka in the ball-park) based on the overall quality and complexity delivered in the bottle. In closing, Kunde Family Estate is a Sonoma County producer that’s crafting estate-grown, sustainably farmed wines that are worth seeking out – especially for those of you who appreciate good quality wines that represent a sense of place in the glass. Cheers!
Click here to visit the Kunde Family Estate website.
Click here to watch the Ustream video of the event.
Have a question about this post, friends? Feel free to leave a comment or send me an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, and as always, Happy Sipping! Stay tuned ...more to come.
Disclosure: This wine was provided as a media sample to participate in an online event. Thoughts are my own.
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