Kenwood 2012 Zinfandel, Jack London Vyd., Sonoma Mountain
The label is iconic; author Jack London lived in Sonoma County and his ranch is now owned by the California Parks Department. But the lava-terraced Jack London Vineyard on the ranch is farmed by Kenwood Vineyards and has been for three decades. Located on Sonoma Mountain with a southeastern exposure, this vineyard is above the fog level and gets early morning sun followed by late afternoon breezes that temper the day's most extreme heat. The result of
this exceptional terroir is grapes of great distinction that make wines with superb flavor and deep, rich color as you will see in this exceptional Zinfandel. The wolf head label tells you it's the Jack London Vineyard bottling from the outside, but inside, it's the wine that tells you. Wine & Spirits gave it 93 points saying "Kenwood has made wine from this vineyard on Jack London's former hillside ranch since 1976. There have been vineyards here since the 1860s, but London's descendant Milo Shepard began planting this current site in 1972, the vines situated among live oaks on the volcanic soil of Sonoma Mountain's eastern flank. This vintage is wild and refreshing, with clean lines and a silky structure that's as fine as beach sand. It smells like a tisane of rose hips, raspberry leaves and bark, its red fruit tangy and energetic, note hyperripe or heavily extracted."