I know, I know. Some of you may be thinking that you can get a bottle of Kendall-Jackson from your local supermarket. So why bother going at all to their tasting room, right? Right. That is true. Though you can say the same thing about the other more popular brands such as Beringer, Mondavi and BV and people still go to their wineries not only as a destination but also to taste their reserve wines.
Kendall-Jackson does have intriguing and delicious wines and we rediscovered that by visiting their wine center in Sonoma. Good selection of reserve white and red wines!
When I started enjoying drinking wines, Kendall-Jackson was one of the brands that I repeatedly bought from the supermarket. I remember I used to pickup by mistake another brand called Turning Leaf because the label designs are almost the same. KJ used to be go-to chardonnay or merlot.
Since we were in the Russian River Valley area the past weekend, we said why not pay their wine center a visit? The tasting room is housed in a beautiful chateau on Fulton St. Though this wine center can be touristy, we went there on a weekday so they were free of weekend tourist buses. The area is tastefully landscaped and dotted with perfectly manicured gardens.
The tasting room is very spacious and also doubles as the winery's gift shop. There are two bars where they do the tasting and both bars were full that day. We had to wait for someone who will pour for us. Most of the people we talked to inside the tasting room were KJ's wine Club members. I noticed some of them were there just to pick up their monthly wine selection. KJ had a food and wine pairing that day but we decided just to try their tasting.
[to read my other Wine Tasting blogs, click here ]
Their Classic Tasting menu lists seven wines but they only allow you to sample four. Mijo and I shared the tastings so we were able to sample all seven. We were able to sip the following labels. Classic Tasting consisted of 2009 Grand Reserve Sauvignon Blanc, 2010 Grand Reserve Chardonnay, 2007 Grand Reserve Pinot Noir, 2007 Grand Reserve Syrah, 2005 Highland Estate Taylor Peak Merlot, 2009 Grand Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, 2005 Highland Estates Hawkeye Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon. My gut was right because the grand reserve wines were very good. Our pourer, Anna, was very engaging and knowledgeable. There was a point during the pouring when she made me realize that I should go get a certificate degree in wine. I may be able to pour wine like her? Maybe someday.
The standouts and the ones we took home were the 2005 Highland Estates Taylor Peak Merlot and the 2009 Grand Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.
If you've enjoyed drinking a Kendall-Jackson, I recommend visiting their wine center so you can discover their delicious reserve wines.