With over 100 years of vineyard-farming experience in Sonoma Valley, California, the Kunde family is one of the oldest wine names in Sonoma. In 1904, Louis Kunde purchased a 1,000-acre parcel and planted it with vine cuttings imported from famed producers, including Château Margaux and Château Lafite Rothschild. Today, Kunde offers three different lines of wine: Family Estate Series, Destination Series and Reserve Series. While the Family Estate wines offer a combination of quality and value, it is the Reserve Series that tends to receive the most accolades, according to our Kunde wine ratings. The Destination Series wines are made solely for those who visit the Kunde winery. In 2008, Kunde received California’s coveted Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award, honoring the winery’s sustainable practices and facilities. The company is also Certified Sustainable by the Certified Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance for its viticulture and vinification procedures.
This grower-turned-vintner pulls out all the stops. This is as good as the appellation gets. Displays classic Cabernet notes of cassis and olives, framed in gorgeously smoked oak. Dry, luscious tannins, creamy acids. If there's a criticism, it's a little too obvious. Think finesse. Napa has it. So far, Sonoma Valley, even at this level, doesn't.
The aroma is a great burst of mineral and tropical fruit, so good you just have to taste it. Follows through brilliantly, with all sorts of fruit flavors, lavishly oaked and with a steely, stony nerve. The finish is spicy and acidic. This is a distinguished single-vineyard wine, not a me-too, but an authentic product of terroir. For this kind of quality, it’s also…
Loaded with apple, peach, citrus and tangerine aromas, while oak lends vanilla and buttered toast notes. Packed with complex citrus, peach, mineral and spice flavors. Crisp acidity and a lush, creamy texture.
The spiciest of Kunde’s three single-vineyard Chards. Has ripe peach, apple, pear and tropical-fruit flavors, with smoky, vanilla, and nutty notes from oak. The spices range from cinnamon and ginger to paprika and white pepper. Creamy and deep, with a nutty, complex finish.
A new bottling from Kunde, and one of their most successful reds ever. A Cabernet-Merlot blend, it shows earthy, tobacco-edged flavors of cherries, raspberries, blackberries, carob, vanilla and cedar. It turns away from the current overripe style in favor of Bordeaux-style balance and elegance. Best now through 2008.
Locked down by hard tannins, this nonetheless is a beautiful Zinfandel, dry and rich in flavor. It bursts with savory wild berry, tobacco, mocha and pepper flavors, and feels elegant and refined. The tannins call for enormously rich beef, pasta, sauces and cheeses.
A wonderful wine, one of the best Petite Verdots in California, although the truth is there aren’t all that many. It’s sturdy in tannins and richly textured, with delicious blackberry flavors that are a little earthier and drier than Cabernet Sauvignon.
It’s no small feat they were able to hold this sophisticated wine back so long and still sell it for just over 20 bucks. The wine is soft, dry and rich in red currant, white pepper, licorice and mocha flavors, and has elegant balance.