2014 Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon – Vintages 331603 – $22.95 – **** – There is a lot of fruit in this bottle, and frankly, this is what you should expect from California during the very hot and dry 2014 summer. In spite of the concentration of fruit flavours there is definitely some restraint and care taken in how this wine was put together. Aromas are cassis, strawberry, blackberry, plum, hints of black licorice and cedar. The flavours very much match the nose, and the tannin is velvet smooth. The concentration of the fruit is so intense that this almost feels sweet as it fills your mouth cheek to cheek with the juicy flavours, but I assure you this is a dry wine. The slight smoke and cocoa note linger on the finish.
2015 Kendall-Jackson Vintner’s Reserve Chardonnay – Vintages 369686 – $19.95 – **** – When you imagine California Chardonnay – buttery, rich, vanilla, orange and peach – you’re imagining this wine. What this wine does have is a bit of acidity to keep this from completely invading your mouth. 2015 was another very hot vintage for California so the fruit flavours are very concentrated with orange and peach on the nose and on the palate. This is well priced to get into something that both reflects California and holds onto some acidity to make it a nice match to creamy pasta or fried chicken.