Special Section: Jack London Centennial

Kenwood Vineyards has announced a special wine release to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Jack London’s death. The Kenwood winemaker, which sources grapes from London’s historic Sonoma Mountain vineyard, will re-release its 2006 Jack London Cabernet Sauvignon, selling bottles from its private cellar.

The winery also had pledged $315,000 over the next three years to support its neighbor, Jack London State Historic Park.

The funds will continue efforts with the historic winery ruins, community events, stewardship days, staff membership, and wine donations for the park’s fundraisers.

More than 1,400 acres of the famous writer/adventurer’s ranch have been preserved as a park, including vineyards and buildings from a 19th century winery. The vineyards continue to produce cabernet sauvignon, zinfandel, merlot and syrah grapes that are made into special Jack London series Kenwood wines.


Cabernet Sauvignon, the venerable statesman


Rodney Strong

Rodney Strong, 2015 Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon, 13.5% alcohol, $20. ★★★★

This is a cab that clearly overdelivers. It has generous fruit — black cherry and black raspberry — with herbs and spicy oak. It has good structure with firm tannins and a nice length.


J. Lohr, 2015 Hilltop, Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.9%, $35. ★★★★: This is a pretty cab with black raspberry fruit, herbs and spice, and the flavors meld together seamlessly. The cab has good balance, ripe tannins and a lingering finish. It’s well-crafted.

Duckhorn, 2014 Three Palms Vineyard, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.9%, $98. ★★★★: This is a gorgeous cab with notes of black raspberry fruit, and notes of cinnamon and clove in the mix. It has a soft and supple texture, with ripe tannins. Nice length. Striking.

Cliff Lede, 2015 Stag’s Leap District, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, 15%, $78. ★★★★: This is a striking cab with complex aromas and flavors. It has notes of jasmine, black currant, blackberry, cinnamon and black pepper. The Cliff Lede has bright acidity and great balance. Top rate.

Justin, 2015 Paso Robles Cabernet Sauvignon, 14.5%, $25. ★★★1/2: This is a savory cab with dried herbs at the forefront, while cherry and black currant fruit play backup. What melds it together is a hint of caramel. Smart.