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April 2006

Virtual Tasting Room Visit — Kunde Estate

By Thom Elkjer, Wine Editor

 

SONOMA, CA — Now in its fourth generation as winegrowers and winemakers, the Kunde Family this year is opening up its 2,000–acre estate for "Green–Tours" that showcase a collection of eco–friendly practices that preserve habitat, conserve energy, and reduce waste. Along with this edification you get a great hike, magnificent views, and a gourmet lunch with Jeff Kunde — about as good as field trips get. Tour dates are in May, July, August, September and October (book ahead), and you should be in shape to climb 1400 feet in warm weather. You can be in any shape you want to visit the tasting room (open daily 10:30 —4:30, (707) 833–5501, www.kunde.com). It's a good visit all on its own, with cave tours on weekends, a pool and fountains, a tree–shaded picnic area and more.

If you visit this spring, here are some wines worth tasting:

Kunde Estate Sauvignon Blanc

Sauvignon Blanc Sonoma Valley "Magnolia Lane" 2005 ($15): A sweetly tropical version that stays lush through the midpalate, bringing a light brush of palate-cleansing acidity just before the finish; the aftertaste is a shimmery mirror of the peachy aromas

Kunde Chardonnay Reserve

Chardonnay Sonoma Valley Reserve 2003 ($35): A good example of the barrel-fermented, malolactic, full-bodied Chardonnay that Sonoma’s known for; apple honey and melted butter on toast — an after-school snack for adults.

Kunde Primitivo Sonoma Valley

Primitivo Sonoma Valley "PTO2" 2003 ($26): This is a refreshing, claret style of Zinfandel from 25-year-old vines, with a dollop of Charbono to add color and soften the tannins; doesn't need a barbeque to shine, but can swing that way too.

Kunde Cabernet

Cabernet Sauvignon Sonoma Valley 2002 ($21): The blackberry and black cherry aromas alert you that this Cab got ripe the old-fashioned way: during a warm Indian Summer that let much of the tannin come from the grapes, not barrels; wisely vinified quite dry and with moderate alcohol, to let the fruit shine through in beautiful balance.

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