9.0-9.5 - Vinography -- Alder Yarrow - 1/28/2021
“… I want to strongly draw your attention to what I think might be my favorite rendition of Sangiovese currently being made in California. Wonderfully light in color, it is taut, bright, juicy, elegant and beautifully, varietally correct. Anyone who thinks California Sangiovese at an inky, 14.8% alcohol is the proper expression of the grape needs to taste this wine and take a lesson from winemaker Stewart Johnson and his tiny label Kendric Vineyards. At $22 [sic], it’s a complete steal.”
2018 Kendric Vineyards “Reward Ranch” Sangiovese, Shenandoah Valley, Sierra Foothills, California
"Medium ruby in color, this wine smells of sweet cherry and cedar. In the mouth, lovely cherry and citrus peel flavors are shot through with cedar and a touch of cinnamon as excellent acidity keeps the fruit fresh and bright while faint powdery tannins dust the edges of the mouth. Notes of orange peel linger in the finish. A beautifully elegant expression of Sangiovese, and one of the best that is currently being made in the state. 13.7% alcohol. Score: between 9 and 9.5."
2018 Sangiovese “Reward Ranch”- Kendric Vineyards (Shenandoah Valley)
"I like Stewart Johnson’s Sangiovese better and better with each passing vintage. I am sure if I mentioned this to him, he would just modestly say that the vines are getting older (they were planted in 1995), but I have the sense that Stewart is really starting to know what he wants to do with this bottling. The 2018 is really lovely, coming in at 13.7 percent octane and offering up a very refined bouquet of cherries, a touch of orange peel, pomegranate, thyme, oregano, a touch of cedar and a superb base of stony soil tones. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied and tangy, with a superb core of sappy fruit, excellent mineral drive and grip, ripe tannins and a long, complex and beautifully balanced finish. There is a lovely interplay here of sweet red fruit and slightly bitter elements on the backend that one finds in so many classic Italian wines, but so seldom finds in California Sangiovese. It will be approachable when it is released early next year, but it is built to age gracefully and I am going to put my bottles away for at least five years and see where this wine takes me! This is a beautiful wine and a stunning bargain, as it sells for under $35 a bottle. 2021-2050. 93."