(wineBlog) Kivelstadt Family Secret Sauvignon Blanc - Kivelstadt got its start in Sonoma over a decade ago, when Jordan Kivelstadt made a haul of Syrah.
This first solo winemaking venture came on the heels of a consulting career in his early twenties, followed by a New World wine tour making wine in California, Australia, Argentina, and Chile. This hands-on experience with New World winemaking contrasted with his family's love of European travel, food, and wine culture. He grew up steeped in a romance with the Old World, but got his hands dirty in the New one. Out of this tension Kivelstadt was born. The wines are shaped by the soil, climate, and soul of Sonoma, but with a nod to Old World traditions. Jordan doesn't seek to emulate the New World style popularized over the last couple decades of polished, plush wines. His wines possess an irreverance and freshness that comes with an awareness of tradition and a willingness to toss it aside and try something new. This Sauvignon Blanc is an example of this freshness. Full of racy acidity, it isn't the wild tropical style of Marlborough or the luxe richness of Fume or Bordeaux Blanc. It's not quite the minerality and herbaceousness of the Touraine or Sancerre, though it comes closer to those. It's its own ineffable Sauvignon Blanc with poise and precision from cool Sonoma nights and California coastal breezes. Drink it with any fresh and simple late summer fare, from grilled trout to pastas with bright herbs and vegetables, or a pizza or galette or crostini topped with cheese, grilled onions, and ripe tomatoes. Slow roast the tomatoes first with cloves of garlic and sprigs of thyme at low heat until they are jammy and sweet, like savory candy.
Kivelstadt KC Labs Zinfandel - KC Labs is Kivelstadt's experimental side project, taking common perceptions of grapes' character and turning them sideways. Zinfandel is renowned in California for its rich, ripe, boozy character. This one, made from Mendocino fruit from Venturi Vineyard, is fermented with carbonic maceration, without crushing the fruit. The Zin grape skins get less contact with the juice this way, allowing for minimal extraction of color and tannins from this robust bruiser of a grape. The result is a light bodied, fresh Zinfandel, definitely qualifying as a chillable red. Late summer seems like the perfect time for this sort of red. Fall looms, with thoughts of sweaters and cool nights and cozy red wines, but really we're still in summer, with humid days and the most eager leaves dropping from green trees. Evenings are perfect for sipping a cool red that straddles this gap, sitting on the patio swatting mosquitos and eating tacos with pork or beef hot from the grill, fresh tomatillo salsa and a tangle of cilantro.
Aubrey Stout (Aubrey is a talented wine specialist at Imbibe Chattanooga).