Kenwood Vineyards was established in 1970 at the site of the former Pagani Brothers Winery, a historic wine cellar built in 1906. It was founded in 1970 by John Sheela and his brothers-in-law, Mike and Marty Lee. They converted the jug wine facility into a modern winery. In 1975, winemaker Mike Lee hired Stan Stupich as a “cellar rat”. Stupich remains a winemaker at Kenwood today. In 1976, Kenwood Vineyards acquired the exclusive rights to source grapes from the historic vineyards of Jack London Ranch.
In 1978, local artist David Lance Goines was commissioned to create an original artwork to be used for the label of the 1975 reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. This was the first vintage of the Artist Series.
Crimson, almost rust, in color. 14.3% ABV. Stunning nose of black fruits, leather, graphite and menthol. Exceptional concentration and power. Great balance of fruit, tannins and acid. Blackberries, currants, cassis and mint on the palate. Tremendous length on the finish. Glorious wine that is showing beyond expectations as it approaches 25 years of age. Best over the next 3-5 years.
My rating: 96 points.
This wine was really special primarily because Kenwood was one of the first Cabernets I really enjoyed when I got into this hobby long ago. Along with Heitz, Beringer,, Silver Oak and Mondavi they were the gold standard for the variety back in the 80’s.