1987 Kenwood "Artist Series" Sonoma Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #901266 91 points Wine Spectator

 Smooth, ripe and complex, with a pretty array of spicy currant, black cherry, anise, sage and cedary oak flavors. Rich and concentrated. Most of the tannin has softened quite enjoyably. (JL)  (12/1997)

Jancis Robinson

 Kenwood Vineyards was established in 1970 in the former Pagani Brothers Winery, a historic cellar dating back to 1906. Most of the fruit for this vintage came from a dry-farmed hillside vineyard in the Mayacamas Range. Each lot from each vineyard is kept separate throughout the winemaking process. Fruit from the estate Cabernet Sauvignon vineyard located on the south-east slopes of Sonoma Mountain was blended with Cabernet Franc and Merlot from the Sonoma Valley. This vintage's label was Man with a Balance by Joan Miró. The tech sheet says nothing about the oak regime. Still deeply coloured. Lovely undergrowth and mushroom aroma, a little nutty and cedary. Dry, fine and just really tasty with a hint of savoury yeast extract, polished wood but still showing surprisingly youthful cassis fruit. 17.5/20 Points (JH)  (10/2013)

K&L Notes

"Kenwood Vineyards’ thirteenth Artist Series Cabernet Sauvignon features "Man With a Balance," an abstract painting by Joan Miro. Joan Miró, born in Barcelona in 1893, is known for his complexity of styles and richly incentive imagery. This work, "Man With A Balance," is characteristic of his abstract compositions incorporating asymmetrical figures and creative symbolism. Winery note: "The grapes selected for the 1987 Artist Series are a blend of the finest small lots of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Ideal growing conditions of 1987 produced premium grapes that were harvested at optimum ripeness from three vineyards: Lindholm, Jansen and Yulupa. Vineyard lots were kept separate during the fermentation, which took place in stainless steel and aging for two years in new French oak barrels. The classic Cabernet characteristics display soft berry and black cherry flavors with oak complexity. Small amounts of Cabernet Franc and Merlot add to the softness and complexity of this wine. Special attention was put into the ageability of this wine."

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Price: $49.99
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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 MĂ©doc 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).