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1978 Kenwood "Artist Series" Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #900766 Wine Spectator

 Has aged well, and is now fully mature, with elegant currant, cedar, anise and sage. (JL)  (11/1998)

K&L Notes

"Kenwood Vineyards' fourth Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon release features 'Inscape' by artist Charles Mingus III. Charles Mingus III, son of the famous jazz musician, was born in Los Angeles, California and attended Chouinard Art Institute in Hollywood. Since 1963 his works have appeared in a number of east coast galleries including the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Feigen Gallery in Chicago. He has designed record album covers for Columbia Records and Kapp Records. Charles now lives in New York City and is currently exploring computer animation techniques using his graphic watercolors as a base for motion. The 1978 Artist Series is composed entirely of the top Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from the Steiner and Laurel Glen vineyards in the Sonoma Mountains, northeast of Kenwood. Each lot was aged separately for one year in both French and American oak barrels before being blended and bottled. The 1978 vintage is a big, very deep-colored wine with rich ripe peppery varietal character. The long, lingering flavors, good fruit and oak tannins all add to the complexity of this varietal. This wine, if stored properly, has a very long aging potential." - Winery Note

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Price: $69.99
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Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the M├ędoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year.
Specific Appellation:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).