' Ratings - Kendric Vineyards


Acclaim for Petaluma Gap|Marin County Pinot Noir

Vintage 2018

93+ - View from the Cellar -- John Gilman - 1/11/21

2018 Pinot Noir “Petaluma Gap”- Kendric Vineyards (Marin County)

The 2018 vintage of pinot noir from Stewart Johnson is a fine young wine in the making. It is a bit more black fruity in personality this year than some previous vintages, coming in at 13.5 percent octane and offering up a pure and complex bouquet of black cherries, plums, raw cocoa, a superb base of dark soil tones, woodsmoke, a dollop of fresh thyme, violets and a discreet foundation of cedary oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, transparent and tangy, with an excellent core of fruit, lovely balance and grip, ripe tannins and a long, vibrant and nascently complex finish. This is outstanding pinot noir in the making, but it will need some time in the cellar to blossom fully. Fine juice. 2026-2060. 93+.

8.5-9.0 - Vinography -- Alder Yarrow - 1/26/20

2018 Kendric Vineyards Pinot Noir, Petaluma Gap, Marin, California

Medium garnet in the glass, this wine smells of chopped herbs, peeled willow bark, and forest berries. In the mouth, black raspberry and chopped herbs mix with a touch of cola nut and sawdust, as faintly bitter green herbs linger in the finish with the faintest wisp of tannin. Excellent acidity.13.5% alcohol. Score: between 8.5 and 9.

92 - Wine Enthusiast - May 2021

92 Kendric 2018 Proprietor Grown Pinot Noir (Petaluma Gap-Marin County). Big, broad cherry flavors are lifted by lively acidity and moderate tannins in this full-bodied wine that sports good sour cherry and raspberry tones as well as light black-pepper and cinnamon nuances. —J.G. abv: 13.5% Price: $38
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Vintage 2017

93 - View from the Cellar -- John Gilman - 1/11/21

2017 Pinot Noir “Petaluma Gap”- Kendric Vineyards (Marin County)

The 2017 vintage of Stewart Johnson’s pinot noir is once again a beautifully refined and transparent example of this varietal, with wonderful complexity on both the nose and palate and a lovely sense of lightness of step on the palate. This year the wine comes in at 13.3 percent octane and it included forty percent whole clusters. It was raised in thirty percent new wood for twenty-four months, with only a single racking and was bottled unfiltered. The bouquet wafts from the glass in a refined blend of cherries, plums, cinnamon, a hint of fresh thyme, beautiful soil tones, cedary oak and a gently smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is pure, full-bodied, focused and beautifully soil-driven, with a lovely core of fruit, tangy acids, fine-grained tannins and a long, complex and superbly balanced finish. This lovely wine will need some bottle age to blossom fully, but there is plenty of pleasure ahead. The Kendric Vineyards’ Petaluma Gap bottlings of pinot noir are some of the most Burgundian in spirit that one can find in the US and remain one of the best bargains out there in the world of wine, as this wine sells for under $40 per bottle! 2027-2055+. 93.

Vintage 2016

91 - The PinotFile - 8/24/18 Link to rating

2016 Kendric Vineyards Petaluma Gap Marin County Pinot Noir

13.1% alc., pH 3.44, TA 0.60, RS <20 g/L, 300 cases, $38.   Light garnet color in the glass. The nose opens over time in the glass to reveal aromas of cherry, spice and timber. Light in color, yet possessing excellent weight on the mid palate, with juicy flavors of red cherry and cranberry and a touch of spice. Energetic acidity provides freshness and lift and integrated tannins allow for easy drinking. A delicately styled wine that can be enjoyed slightly chilled. Score: 91

93+ - View from the Cellar -- John Gilman - 9/8/2018

2018 Pinot Noir “Petaluma Gap”- Kendric Vineyards (Marin County)

The 2016 Pinot Noir “Petaluma Gap” from Kendric Vineyards is yet another beautifully transparent and complex wine from Stewart Johnson, who is clearly one of America’s foremost pinot noir specialists. The wine comes in at a very civilized 13.1 percent octane and offers up a pure and vibrant bouquet of raspberries, cherries, a touch of cola, marvelously complex soil tones, a touch of bonfire, clove-like spices, a dollop of fresh thyme and a discreet framing of cedary oak. On the palate the wine is deep, pure and full-bodied, with stunning soil signature, a fine core of fruit, ripe, seamless tannins and a long, tangy and still quite youthful finish. Stewart Johnson has made some beautiful bottles of pinot noir in the last decade, but this may well be the most complete wine I have yet tasted from him! I hope there will be a 2016 Reserve bottling down the road. Great juice that I would give three to five years in the cellar to allow it to blossom into its secondary layers of complexity and allow the moderate tannins here to soften up a bit more. 2023-2050. 93+.

89 - Berghound - 4/17/19

"A high-toned and overtly fruity nose is comprised by notes of maraschino cherry, raspberry and pomegranate that are laced with attractive and discreet spice wisps. There is excellent punch to the refreshing lighter weight (though not dilute) flavors that evidence fine delineation while delivering reasonably good depth and persistence on the mildly drying but not really short finish. The balance isn’t ideal but I like the delivery and with an appropriate dish, the dryness will be less of an issue. In short, this isn’t perfect but I like it anyway.  89/2022+ " 

Vintage 2013

92 - View from the Cellar -- John Gilman - Spring 2016

2013 Kendric Vineyards Pinot Noir (Marin County)

"Stewart Johnson’s beloved Kendric Vineyards is quickly becoming one of my absolute favorite pinot noir producers in California, as this Marin County pinot specialist continues to turn out beautiful examples of this varietal that are very long on complexity and transparency, while staying light on their feet. His 2013 regular bottling of pinot noir is another fine bottle in the making, offering up a youthful bouquet of cherries, pomegranate, fresh herbs, incipient notes of cola, a beautiful base of soil tones and a smoky topnote. On the palate the wine is fullish, pure and typically transparent in the Kendric style, with a nice core, lovely, fine-grained tannins and a very long, tangy finish. This is still a puppy and needs time in the cellar to blossom, but it will be a fine and long-lived middleweight once it has had a few years. 2020-2045+. 92."

89 - Berghound - 10/8/2016

2013 Pinot Noir:  (Marin County, 67% whole cluster, 600 cases, SRP $38, 13.5%).  A restrained nose requires moderately aggressive swirling to liberate the cool and admirably pure essence of red pinot fruit and rose petal aromas.  I like the sense of energy present on the middle weight flavors that are quite supple on the mid-palate yet the delicious and dry-in-the-best-sense finish is firm and focused.  This mildly austere effort should reward a few years of cellaring as it’s presently fairly tightly wound.  89/2019+

Vintage 2010

93 - View from the Cellar -- John Gilman - 3/4/14

2010 Kendric Vineyards “Marin County” Pinot Noir (Marin County)

The 2010 pinot noir from Kendric Vineyards is outstanding, offering up a deep and pure bouquet of cherries, red berries, a touch of orange peel, herb tones, fresh nutmeg, cola, lovely soil tones and a deft framing of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bodied, complex and beautifully balanced, with a sappy core, excellent transparency, bright acids, suave tannins and a very long, focused and bouncy finish that closes with superb grip and soil signature. High class juice. 2017-2035. 93.

91 pts - Josh Raynolds, Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar - 5/13/14

2010 Kendric Vineyards Pinot Noir Marin Country

($36) Bright red.  Black raspberry and cherry-cola on the deeply scented nose, with notes of blood orange and smoky minerals adding lift.  Silky and precise, offering intense red and dark berry flavors and an exotic floral touch that gains strength with aeration.  Shows very good clarity on the incisive finish, which features silky tannins and a late touch of spicecake.  I suspect that this fresh, fat-free pinot will age nicely on its balance.  (JR)

Vintage 2009

93+ - View from the Cellar -- John Gilman - January-February 2014 Number Forty-Nine - 3/4/14

2009 Kendric Vineyards “Marin County” Pinot Noir (Marin County)

... The bouquet is deep and beautifully transparent, offering up scents of cherries, beetroot, cola, a lovely blend of fresh herbs, nutmeg and a discreet base of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is deep, full-bdoied, pure and shows off a sappy core of fruit, with bright acids, fine-grained tannins, lovely focus and soil signature and a long, tangy and complex finish. A superb bottle of pinot that I would tuck away for another four or five years and really let its secondary layers of complexity emerge. 2018-2035+. 93+.

91 pts - Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

2009 Kendric Vineyards Pinot Noir Marin Country

($36) Light, bright red.  A sexy, highly perfumed bouquet evokes candied red fruits and Asian spices, with suave florality and a hint of orange zest.  Lively and precise on the palate, offering vibrant raspberry and bitter cherry flavors that gain flesh with air.  Shows very good energy on the finish, which features silky tannins and a late note of cola.  (JR)

91 pts - Wine Enthusiast - May 2021

Kendric Vineyards 2009 Pinot Noir (Marin County)
Light in color, this Marin County Pinot Noir is cool-climate in all its glory, with herbal and red cherry layers swathed in silky tannins and a finish of cola spice. A lovely introduction to Marin’s propensity for Pinot, pair this wine with quiche Lorraine or bacon-wrapped figs. —V.B. 


Kendric Vineyards 2009 Marin County Pinot Noir

“Light ruby. A very pretty, attractively fresh and spicy nose of pure essence of red pinot fruit that displays fine complexity merges seamlessly into detailed, vibrant and utterly delicious medium-bodied flavors that possess a refined mouth feel. This supple and perfectly ready effort is balanced, clean and refreshing and while the finish can’t match the complexity of the nose, this is really quite good. Note that this could be held in the cellar for a few more years if desired though it has basically arrived on the front edge of its peak drinkability. 89/now+”
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PinotFile -- Reviewed October 2, 2012

2009 Kendric Vineyards Marin County Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.40, TA 0.53, 580 cases, $36. Released fall 2012. 6th vintage. Clones 37, 115, 667, 777, 828, Pommard and Martini. Harvested at about 2.0 tons per acre at about 24º Brix. 60% whole cluster fermentation, 10% saignee, no cold soak, both indigenous and proprietary yeast, 30-day extended maceration, aged in 40% new French oak barrels for 27 months, gently fined and filtered. · Light reddish color in the glass. Very seductive aromas of ripe cherries, red currants, sandalwood and walnuts, picking up interest and intensity over time in the glass. Relatively light in weight but flavorful, offering notes of brandied cherries, spice, and a hint of vanillin oak, with some of the cherry fragrance returning to haunt the finish. Very soft tannins make for easy drink ability. Very good.

Vintage 2008

92 - View from the Cellar -- John Gilman - May/Jun 2013, Issue #45 (5/1/2013)

The 2008 Kendric pinot noir is a touch riper than the 2009 (13.9 percent versus 13.5 percent), but it is every bit as pure and transparent on both the nose and palate. The bouquet on this light-colored pinot is really gorgeous, as it jumps from the glass in a superb blend of strawberries, baked cherries, cinnamon, a touch of chocolate, a beautiful base of soil tones, an exotic touch of root beer and a deft framing of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is deep, fullish and beautifully pure and soil-driven, with a sappy core of fruit, melting tannins, bright acids and simply superb length and grip on the complex and dancing finish. This is a beautiful bottle of pinot noir! (Drink between 2013-2025) 92+ points

Allen Meadows’ 1st Qtr, 2012 Issue 45 BURGHOUND.COM

90pts   Kendric Vineyards 2008 Marin County Pinot Noir

"A notably floral and overtly spicy nose also speaks of very pure and lilting red berry fruit aromas. There is excellent detail and intensity to the energetic middle weight flavors that terminate in a clean, dry, focused and persistent finish. This is sophisticated wine that won't be for everyone as the whole cluster fermentation creates a different style, but I quite like it. 90/2014+"

Designated a Burghound Selection and among the wines which are “particularly outstanding for their respective appellations and especially merit your attention.”

91 pts - Wine Enthusiast - Dec. 2011

Kendric Vineyards 2008 Pinot Noir (Marin County)
"Kendric produces very pure, refined Pinot Noirs from this county just over the Golden Gate Bridge. The ’08 is classic, a pale amber-colored wine, rich in acidity and minerals, framing red cherry, cola and bacon flavors. Gets better as it warms in the glass." — S.H.

90 pts - Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar 5/17/12

2008 Kendric Vineyards Pinot Noir Marin Country

($35) Bright red. High-pitched aromas of redcurrant and raspberry, with floral and Asian spice notes adding complexity. Lithe and precise, offering gently sweet red fruit and rose pastille flavors that gain weight and power with air. Shows very good intensity but no excess weight, finishing bright, spicy and long. (JR)

PinotFile -- 11/29/2011

2008 Kendric Vineyards Marin County Pinot Noir

13.5% alc., pH 3.41, TA 0.59, 365 cases, $35. Yield 1.75 tons per acre. · "Mildly intense dark red color in the glass. Subdued aromas of black cherries, vanillin and rose petals. Attention getting presence on the mid palate of dark red berries, blueberries, herbs and sassafras. A polished, engaging wine with supple tannins and bright acidity on the finish. Easy to drink now, but impeccable balance portends many years of good drinking ahead. Very good."

"I have tasted every vintage of Kendric Vineyards Pinot Noir since the inaugural 2004 release and found the wines to be consistently stellar and sensibly priced. The 2008 vintage is probably the best to date."

Steve Heimoff's Wine Blog Link to rating

Vintage 2007

Burghound Issue 40 Fall 2010

2007 Kendric Vineyards Pinot Noir
(Marin County, 368 cases produced:13.9%)

"An elegant and high-toned red and blue berry nose displays attractive violet and spice aromas that precede delicious, balanced and pure middle weight flavors that offer fine length if not the depth that one might like to see. However, the harmony of expression and underlying material are such that my score offers the benefit of the doubt that this will develop more depth with a few years in bottle. Lovely and worth a look. 90/2013+"

Wine Enthusiast 10/2010

91 Kendric 2007 Pinot Noir (Marin County); $34.

"Kendric’s best Pinot yet, from this magnificent vintage. Strikes a fine balance between lushness of raspberry fruit and a stony crispness that pulls back tantalizingly into dryness and minerality, then returns to spicy richness on the finish. It will be interesting to watch this wine evolve over the next 4–8 years." —S.H.

The PinotFile 4/23/10

"Moderate in color. Lovely perfume of earth-dusted cherries, lavender and pear. Delicious cherry fruit with a sidecar of sandalwood, oak and root beer. Medium-bodied with suede tannins and understated acidity. This wine has pinotosity. Less acidity than the 2006 vintage version with more cajones and the best yet from this small producer. Definitely worth a look. Very good." Further designated as having an "excellent price/quality ratio."
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Vintage 2006

Allen Meadows’ 4th Quarter, 2009  Issue 36

91pts     Kendric Vineyards
2006 MarinCountyPinot Noir

An understated but very pretty, moderately pitched nose of red and blue pinot fruit merges into nicely detailed and fresh middle weight flavors that are delicious and possess good depth and length on the reasonably firm and balanced finish. This is a pretty mix between enough generosity to avoid being austere but not so much that the mouth feel is lush. Lovely and worth a look. 91/2012+

Designated a Burghound Selection and among the wines which are “particularly outstanding for their respective appellations and especially merit your attention.”


An intriguing nose that constantly changes in the glass. Many aromas surface including red berries and cherries, root beer, wet leaves and soy. Bright cherry and cranberry fruit is offered in an elegant style with crisp acidity. Some root beer and spice flavors show up. Juicy and fresh, this is a fun drink that I admire for its finesse and its uniqueness. Check out Marin County- the wines will surprise you.

Recipient of the Pinot Geek Icon, the PinotFile’s highest rating, which “signifies an exceptional wine of great breeding and a highly recommended purchase” and “a Pinot Noir that is truly exceptional. Only the most complete and transcendent Pinot Noirs will be so designated.”

PinotFile - May 7, 2009