Overall, the 2013 Pinot Noir is on the spicy/earthy end of the spectrum and featuring tea, tobacco, mace, cardamom, dried rose, sandalwood, tamarind, plum and blueberry notes. A supple, harmonious palate, with restrained alcohol and balanced acidity, makes this a fine food partner.
“Offers up a youthful bouquet of cherries, pomegranate, fresh herbs, incipient notes of cola, a beautiful base of soil tones and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is fullish, pure and typically transparent in the Kendric style, with a nice core, lovely, fine-grained tannins and a very long, tangy finish.” 92 Points, John Gilman’s View from the Cellar
Appellation: Marin County
Vineyard: Kendric Vineyard, Marin County/Petaluma Gap (this is an “Estate” bottling but for the technicality that the vineyard and winery are in separate AVAs)
Barrel Regime: aged in French oak barrels plus 1 Hungarian puncheon, 30% new; 23 months in barrel without racking
Stewart Johnson farms the Kendric Johnson Vineyard on leased land at the boundary of the Marin County and Sonoma Coast appellations 8 miles west of the Pacific Coast. This 8.5-acre vineyard was planted in 2002 to clones 37, 115, 667, 777, 828, Pommard, and Martini. Yields are extremely low at this very cool site. Stewart graduated from University of California at Berkeley, obtained a doctorate in political science from Yale, and graduated with a law degree from Hastings. While interning at the Environmental Protection Agency, he was drawn to winegrowing and winemaking rather than being confined to an office practicing law. With his wife, who is a Marin native, he discovered the pastoral beauty of Marin County and ended up growing grapes there.
AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY
FedEx Ground: Monday, May 14th - Wednesday, May 16th
What a score Kendric is! Really didn’t expect this one to work out, but pumped it did. I’ve got cases from Stewart in the cellar, as I know others do as well.
The case price is 69% of what I got them for back on BD in '16, but it looks like @klezman has them all.
Can that really be?
Klez, should I have some of these?
Pull a cork on one of mine and faux rat it for us…
@rjquillin i will have to dig through the piles of rjq boxes and see if i can find any. I have none of these in my ct. Since we are fans of Stew’s wine weare happy to split. Maybe even @ScottW58 wants in as well…
Personally and imho I think Stewart/Kendric makes as good or better pinot that has ever been here or on WW and you should do yourself a favor and try some.
That being said this vintage for me had some tartness that did not agree with me, my palate has been very sensitive to any kind of tart flavors over the last few years so you should probably take my notes with a grain of salt.
Excellent producer super nice guy. No producer that I have ever tried has been perfect with every wine in every vintage for my palate anyways.
First a caveat - molarchae and I just finished a bottle of Wellington Syrah, so we don’t have the freshest of palates. I poured two small samples and recorked the bottle to be revisited tomorrow.
Second, a bias - molarchae and I like Kendric Pinot Noir. We are not sure if its long term ageability. We had a bottle of the 2010 a couple weeks ago: 4/4/2018 Delicious right out of the gate. Lots of earth and cherry. Mushroom. A savoury quality that I always enjoy. A bit more raspberry with air, and hints of oxidation. I’m wondering if these wines are really built to age as much as I thought they were, given the last 2009 bottle I had was also kind of oxidized.
With that out of the way, here are some initial impressions from 20-30 minutes after opening the bottle:
Colour is a whole lot lighter and redder than the inky purple Syrah we had just finished. Brick red, but not super intense - you can easily see through the glass.
Aromas are herbs, earth, and bright red cherry and raspberry. Bits of mint/eucalyptus here and there as well that I sometimes mistake for alcohol.
Palate is light to medium bodied, quite smooth at first, almost with a light glycerine texture. Flavours are similar to the aromas, and the quality of the fruit is in the ripe realm, a few shades shy of jammy. Acidity and tension are evident, and maybe even some mild tannin. This is not as mushroomy and savoury as the 2010 would suggest. This is brighter and more fruity.
Finish is long and recapitulates the palate before it veers into more of a woodsy sort of realm and then into more warm spices (clove, cinnamon, etc).
The rest is re-corked on the counter and we will report back tomorrow.
@klezman Well, I opened a bottle looking for the eucalyptus, and don’t have much to report. It’s still not standing out to me. I’m with you on the fruit. Honestly, I often taste right past fruit components looking for the things that interest me more, but the warm, dusty cherry, which I associate with the pommard clone in this blend, seems particularly exuberant right now.
@KendricPN I think I am particularly sensitive to that set of aromas. I have often mistaken eucalyptus for alcohol but I’ve learned to stop and think about it. I don’t think in this case it was alcohol, so I figure it was the other. I could have been wrong. I’ll be curious to see if I perceive it tonight as well when I get home from the office and reopen.
Just got home and reopened the bottle that’s been sitting on the counter since last night. Had airspace of a few ounces.
Initial impressions are all even more positive than last night. What yesterday I was calling eucalyptus, I think has now morphed into something I’d call clove and tea. Essentially this is both more tart and more savoury than yesterday’s essentially pop-n-pour impressions. This is also with a Pinot glass instead of a standard tulip shape, for those who think that makes all the difference. The finish is similarly long and evolving, but now includes a bit of a bitter note as well. Probably related to the tannins.
I am sad to report that the syrah has certainly ruined my palate for this tonight. I look forward to reporting back with more tomorrow. The mint/eucalyptus is definitely there on the nose, and more tannin in the mouth than I usually expect from a pinot. Beyond that, I’m not much help tonight.
Hi wine-folk, this is Stew from Kendric Vineyards. I’m happy to see a familiar name, RJQ. (I gather that there’s some preferred form of address featuring @ signs here, but I’m not hip to it yet.)
Klezman and Molarchae, the eucalytptus you are finding surprises me. (The tannin doesn’t – this is my most muscular vintage.) There’s no eucalyptus very near the vineyard, and I haven’t noted that in this wine before. I have noted anise before, and there is some wild fennel in the area. Any chance that’s it? More likely, and especially if it’s something that can be mistaken for alcohol, it makes me suspect ethyl acetate (usually lumped under the VA heading) which can impart a slight burn on the nose and on the finish. That hasn’t really been a common feature of this wine either.
In the days of traditional corks and rampant bottle variation, I wouldn’t be at all surprised by an “off” bottle. Besides out and out ruination of wines by TCA (corkiness), lots of wines under regular cork went south due to unpredictable oxidation and VA formation. Since the switch to DIAM (cork that’s ground up and treated to remove impurities before being agglomerated) in 2012, bottle variation has been greatly diminished. I still sniff a glass of every bottle I open before I pour it for other people, but that’s mostly just habit. It’s mostly a huge relief to remove cork as a major variable in how the wine shows, but occasionally, when the wine falls flat with someone, it would by nice to be able to shrug and mutter something about bottle variation.
In any case, I’ll pop a bottle a little later in the day and look specifically for the eucalyptus and report back.
@rjquillin@Winedavid49 Yes, it’s robbery, but when someone turns up saying they want to sell a pile of your wine just as you’re scraping up bottling funds and are up to your ears in the vineyard, a fast buck starts to look better than taking time out to hit the sales warpath. So, here we are.
@rjquillin@Winedavid49 Actually, I was slow on the uptake regarding the significance of the name “Casemates.” When I decided to accept this deal, I did the math on the assumption that people mostly bought 3-packs. Now, I get the whole “community” and partnering-up-to-split-a-case thing. It’s a smarter model than I’d realized.
@KendricPN Stew, you’re asking great questions to me think about my impressions and clarify. It could be anise - it wasn’t a strong enough note for me to be able to discern between those choices. It didn’t ring in as VA, although ethyl acetate certainly does smell different than acetone, which is my normal association with the term. Until we get smell-o-vision and can share our neural impressions we’ll have to stick with these clumsy words!
I should also note that I did not find the impression of (whatever it was) to be off-putting at all. I thought it added a bit of complexity in a nice way.
There are plenty of us here who frequent WineBerserkers as well. In fact, if this deal isn’t cross-posted there I’d be surprised.
@WineDavid49, great job on this deal. I’m in for some, but sure as hell can’t take a whole case. Need folks to split with.
@CorTot@KendricPN@klezman@rjquillin I have 3 more, will try one. Should have done that before I posted here…but I didn’t and we can’t delete or edit posts. Plus I bought at another flash site, so not looking for any replacements.
The color was very light. I said “garnet”, another reviewer mentioned “brick”, which is fair. No legs to speak of; quite thin.
The nose was also light. In fact, everything about this wine was light. I don’t say that as a dig. Sometimes you want a light wine and sometimes you want to chew on an inky cab. This is more of a summertime afternoon Pinot.
My first impression was Ocean Spray cran-raspberry juice. More cran than ras. Tiny bit of alcohol burn on a deeper inhale.
The flavor was…you guessed it…light. I kind of enjoyed it. Lots of cranberry. Not too dry, not too sweet. A little bit herbal. Not too jammy, but a little acidic. Reminded me of Thanksgiving dinner. My only “complaint” if you want to call it that is that it’s not terribly complex. The nose, initial taste, and aftertaste are all pretty much the same, dominated by cranberry/raspberry, and not much else. But if you like that, and I do, it’s a good one to pick up. I’d say this also makes it an easy one to bring to parties or serve to guests and people who don’t regularly drink wine. It’s approachable.
All that said, before seeing the price, I would have pegged this as a $20-25 bottle.
Not that you need any enabling from me, I’d be willing to go in on a split 3 ways. We’d just need one more person from the Twin Cities area. If that doesn’t happen before the offer changes tomorrow night, I won’t be all that worried about missing out on this. I still need to work on reducing some of my inventory.
I went in for a case. Figured ok Pinot is around or below this price point. Great Pinot’s far more expensive, so if this is good I’m a winner. I’ve done Pinot Deals on WW and other offers and most of the time I’ll be on the last bottle and say to myself at that price why didn’t I buy more.