Friday, May 11, 2007

Rating: **** 2004 Kendall-Jackson Grand Reserve Merlot, Jackson Estates, Sonoma, Napa CA

Review: This Kendall-Jackson merlot is a combination of 79% Sonoma fruit with 21% Napa fruit, and part of the higher-end (but still moderately-priced) KJ estate line called Grand Reserve.

Color of this merlot is an even, deep red, not opaque in the middle, not fading at the edges. As I swirled the wine in the glass to bring in a little air, pleasant aromas of oaked cherry moved into the room. On closer examination, the nose showed a modest, burnt-oak character wrapped around a black currant / cherry base. There is a little touch of freshly cleaned laundry far in the distance. On the palate the first impression is of a deep, round, plush middle - quite velvety. Seems much richer on the palate that I anticipated from the aroma.

Chocolate moves in during the mid-palate, and ripe black-cherry fruit remains for the moderately long and lingering finish. Sufficient tannins are there for cellaring, but do not stand in the way of enjoying this today. A complete mouthful, and a wine that will keep me happily occupied for the evening. So that's four stars!

By comparison, Robert Parker awarded 88 points and said, "The deep ruby/purple tinged 2004 Grand Reserve Merlot reveals notes of mocha, coffee beans, berries, spice and white chocolate. Although ready to consume, it should keep nicely for 5-6 years."

Review wine provided by Kendall-Jackson Vineyards, Santa Rosa CA.


  1. Nice site! Glad I found you.

  2. Have you tried the Kendell-Jackson Grand Reserve Chardonnay? It is consistently good year after year. It is a go-to for me all the time...

  3. Victoria,
    Your wish is my command! I had a bottle waiting - then along came this nice warm evening - and you're right, wonderful wine.
    ps, many thanks for your Santa Barbara suggestions - posts and pics coming soon.