Kenzo Estate’s vineyard is planted in blocks, with each block planted to the ideal grape variety for the growing conditions present. In addition to being located at the top of a gentle mountain ridge, Kenzo Estate’s vineyards benefit from the fresh air coming from San Pablo Bay. These special conditions result in delicate weather variations among the whole vineyard creating many microclimates. When the vineyards were planted, David Abreu carefully examined the characteristics of each block to precisely select the ideal varietals to plant. By respecting a fundamental notion in viticulture, “the most suitable variety for the most suitable spot”, Kenzo Estate produces very high quality fruit, which define the wines that are created here.
The most powerful, robust and acclaimed of all red grapes, Cabernet Sauvignon’s lively acid and tannin structure leads to wines with longevity and complexity. Broad and deep fruit flavors of cherry, blackberry and cassis are carried by tobacco, mint and cedar aromas. A varietal native to Bordeaux, at Kenzo Estate it is our most widely planted. It is a primary component of many of our red wines, including our flagship wine, Rindo, as well as our exclusive cuvee Ai. Cabernet Sauvignon is the last varietal we harvest each vintage, taking advantage of every last drop of the abundant Napa sunshine. This helps us to maximize color and flavor compositions, and the robust and deep structure that only Cabernet Sauvignon can bring to Kenzo Estate’s red blends.
One of the genetic parents of Cabernet Sauvignon (along with Sauvignon Blanc), the fruit is bright and aromatic. Having slightly less tannin than its offspring, it brings perfumes of violets, black currants and graphite to the blend. Native of Bordeaux, Cabernet Franc is often used as a blending component in the Bordeaux style blends so prevalent in Napa. In Kenzo Estate’s flagship wine “rindo”, Cabernet Franc usually makes up 20% to 30% of the blend. In 2009, Kenzo Estate’s namesake, Kenzo Tsujimoto, recognized the potential of this varietal in his vineyard and created Kenzo Estate’s 4th red wine, “asuka” to showcase it.
Popularly connected to France’s “Right Bank” and the great wines of Pomerol and St. Emilion, Merlot is a natural companion to Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc. Preferring cool clay soils, Merlot is a dark grape variety producing soft, round, fruit-laden wines. Merlot is a dark grape variety, native of Bordeaux. Compared to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot ripens earlier in the growing cycle, producing juice with a balanced sugar and acid profile. Contributing soft tannins and rich fruit flavors, Merlot is often used to blend with the later-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon. At Kenzo Estate, our winemaker Heidi Barrett uses Merlot in our red blends, rindo, ai and murasaki, the latter of which is a majority of this varietal.
Petit Verdot is known for its dark color, robust tannins and higher acidity. Capable of withstanding the heat of late summer, Petit Verdot adds dark fruit notes and firm structure to the middle of the blend. When you walk through our vineyard at Kenzo Estate and see vines with a remarkably dark skin and small size fruits, it cannot be anything else but Petit Verdot. With its very dark grains, this varietal brings heavy tannins and spicy aromas. As spices are used in cooking, Petit Verdot is used in Bordeaux blends to tighten the wine and make a beautiful contrast amongst the fruit. We use Petit Verdot’s supporting characteristics in small quantity to complete Kenzo Estate’s blends. A varietal which brings complex depth and spicy aromas, Petit Verdot is the final touch to our red wine blends.
Kenzo Estate’s Sauvignon Blanc is a pure, crisp, and elegant representation of this glorious varietal. A pronounced and flinty minerality, combined with a bright tropical fruit, is characteristic of Kenzo Estate’s Sauvignon Blanc called “asatsuyu”. In Napa Valley, although high quality white wine is typically Chardonnay, Kenzo Estate released a Sauvignon Blanc due to the soil characteristics and climate conditions being ideally suited for this varietal. “asatsuyu” is a rare creation; refreshing, crisp and well balanced, it delivers aromatics of elegant minerals and beautiful white flowers. With its purity and brilliance, “asatsuyu” is a unique white wine that could not be obtained without the pureness of the immaculate environment of Kenzo Estate.
A varietal known for its intense color, dark fruit character and supple tannins, Malbec enhances the varietal complexity of the Kenzo Estate vineyard. Malbec contributes aromas of blackberry and blueberry to our red wines, as well as lush tannins and plum flavors. Used also in our Rose wine called Yui, Malbec contributes bright ruby red color and incredible freshness to the blend. Native of south-western France, Malbec typically ripens midway through the growing season, and has proven to be a very versatile and bountiful variety here.
Golden, thick-skinned Sémillon is characterized by its autumnal colors in the vineyard. Although the fruit is usually bright golden-green, it is not uncommon to find pink- and copper-colored berries around harvest time. Sémillon produces rich, golden, nectar-like wines that are truly decadent. Newly planted for the 2014 vintage, the 2014 “asatsuyu” contains 3% of Sémillon for the first time, perfectly complementing the Sauvignon blanc.
Sauvignon Musqué is an aromatic mutation of parent grape Sauvignon Blanc, with a floral and delicate aroma. Planted here at the same time as the Sauvignon blanc, the Sauvignon Musque has been a wonderful component of Asatsuyu since the beginning.