Kunde sits along a narrow lane of route 12 north of Sonoma in Kenwood. In the springtime this area is as picturesque as wine country gets: rolling hills, mustard amidst the vines, and low-lying fog early in the morning. Family-owned, sustainably grown, and all estate fruit, Kunde makes around 100,000 cases of wine per year source from their 1850 contiguous acres (wow).
This label has been fairly dependable over the years for producing straightforward, varietally correct, and respectable value wines. The trio reviewed below was part of a KundeLive event which is actually a pretty cool way to create a pop-up community of wine lovers all focused on the same few wines. More on that another time...now to the wines.
(Disclosure: These wines were received as press samples)
2009 Chardonnay Sonoma Valley $17 Classic Cali Chard profile without being fatty or overpowered by oak or cream, but traditional enough to please core fans. Medium to full bodied up front with a sprightly finish. There's also a thin line of acid running front to back that makes a call for a fleshy piece of fish.
2008 Red Dirt Red Sonoma Valley Red Blend $28 Interesting blend of Barbera and Syrah rounded out with Zin and Sangiovese. Supple texture, terrific marriage this quartet. Lovely softness to this wine, but not without some good grip. Easy to warm up to, especially after decanting.
2008 Zinfandel Sonoma Valley Century Vines Reserve $35
A kinder, gentler Zin. Fans of dense, monster Zins will find this one somewhat neutered. But fans of good red wine will enjoy as refined and composed a Zin as you're likely to find on the market these days. Somehow carries off its 15.1% alcohol delicately. Mouth-coating tannins set in after a few minutes, offering a serious note - and a welcome squirt of acid. Pull up a chair and a plate of homemade paste with saucy meatballs.
There's tough competition in these price points, but you're likely to find these wines well below the SRP's listed above.