Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Excelsior MN
Cabernet Sauvignon from Alexander Valley's Artisanal Wineries
Blue Rock Vineyard owner, Kenny Kahn, recently approached us about tasting his wines and those of other small, quality-oriented producers in Alexander Valley. We were familiar with the wines of some of the larger Alexander Valley producers but had not tasted those of smaller artisanal producers such as Blue Rock, Garden Creek, and Goldschmidt. Well, we accepted Kenny’s invitation and, as shown in our reviews below, are very glad we did!
" Afternoon Spring Vineyard " Ann Rea ©
First some brief background information. The Alexander Valley (pictured here by artist, Ann Rea) is located in the northeastern corner of Sonoma County and is home to more than 40 wineries. The Valley is 22 miles long, varies in width from two to seven miles, and includes some15,000 acres planted to premium wine grapes. Many of the wineries in the valley are situated on the eastern and western hillside slopes adjacent to the Russian River, which meanders along the valley floor. The warm climate and alluvial soils that characterize much of the valley make it an ideal growing area for big fleshy reds. Chardonnay, Viognier and other whites also do well in selected microclimates.
Historically, the region’s production consisted primarily of mass produced bulk wine. But, beginning in the late 1960s a new era of modern high quality wine production was ushered in by producers such as Jordan, Chateau Soverain, Robert Young and others. The three wineries reviewed here are a relatively new generation of small artisanal producers making high quality ultra premium Bordeaux varietal wines. While each winery is distinct, their owners share a commitment to quality, and their wines exhibit the ripe flavors, suppleness, power and balance that are often found among the wines of Anderson Valley.
Blue Rock Vineyard
Blue Rock was purchased in 1987 by Cheryl and Kenny Kahn, who were attracted to California because of their passion for wine. Originally from Memphis, where Kenny was a stockbroker, the Kahns fell in love with and purchased an old abandoned stone house and winery (built in the 1880s) and 100 acres in Alexander Valley that they have converted into a first-class wine estate. Blue Rock currently has 40 acres of vineyards planted with five Bordeaux varietals and three acres of hillside Syrah. Kenny Kahn’s goal has been to create a self-contained European style estate to produce high quality premium Cabernet Sauvignon on a par with Napa Valley. Blue Rock’s vineyards are today densely planted with low yielding vines and are managed following sustainable agricultural practices. Beginning with its first commercial vintage in 1999, the wines at Blue Rock have been made by the talented New Zealand winemaker, Nick Goldschmidt, who has had extensive experience in Anderson Valley. Nick also has a small estate in the Valley.
Blue Rock 2006 Cabernet Sauvignon Alexander Valley ($47) 93
Blue Rock’s C...