Kent Price Wines

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Kent Price Wines

When is being wrong, so right? This is a bit of a self-confession regarding blending of various wines. But before I get ahead of myself, let’s discuss the background of Kent Price Wines.

Kent Price moved his family from Kansas in 2006 to the Bay Area. Shortly after moving here, he underwent a quintuple bypass. Not an easy way to start up in the wine business! Today he is actively involved in fundraising for UCSF Medical Center and Kansas University Medical Center, where he serves on the board guiding long-term growth. As part of his family’s mission to help battle heart disease, a percentage of the sales of all Kent Price wines goes to fund research into heart disease. The wines are apply named: Cabernet Sauvignon – Pulse; His red blend — Venant du Coeur (coming from the heart) and his white blend — Venant du Coeur Blanc (coming from the heart). This is in keeping with one of his motivations and passion to produce a quality wine from the land.

He quickly hooked up with one of the top wine makers of Napa Valley, Rudy Zuidema. Rudy’s background include working with and for: Philippe Melka of Metisse, James Hall of Patz & Hall, Ted Lemon of Littorai, John Thatcher of Cuvaison and Ben Riggs of Wirra Wirra in Australia. Applying this experience to Kent Price Wines has been remarkable. This is where the “self-confession” comes into play.  In many discussions over the past couple of years with Rudy, be it at a vineyard or over a friendly game of golf, I held the position that blends were “second tier” to a pure varietal. Rudy, being the experienced professional winemaker for over two decades, insisted that blending, allowed the fullest character to be extracted. Rudy was correct!  He more than proved it with Kent Price Wines. I might have to give him an extra stroke next round.

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I have been purchasing Kent Price since their first release of their 2010 Cabernet Sauvignon. I just recently tasted their 2012 Cabernet and was again impressed. But surprisingly, what caught me off guard was their two blends. First the Venant du Coeur red blend. This wine of Petite Sirah (59%), Syrah (28%) and Zinfandel (13%) was so delightful and drinkable. I don’t know if it was the atypical co-fermentation or native yeast, but Rudy created something very special here. In his words “is driven by the deep purple hue of the Petite Sirah with its masculine notes of blueberry, earth, pencil lead and tar.  Syrah and Zinfandel add additional layers of complexity.  On the nose they contribute bacon-fat and sweet pipe tobacco along with a layer of spice and pepper notes on the palate.  Texturally the wine is rich and mouth coating leading to a long finish accented by molasses, blackberry and kirsch.”

Similarly, the Venant du Coeur Blanc, pushed me into further appreciation of his creativity. This has roughly 50% a Grenache Blanc and the remainder equally split between Roussane and Viognier. From just reading the label featuring these blends, it is hard to get one’s head around what is to follow. Suffice it to say, it is a very mouthful experience. This was fresh and smooth with hints of citrus, mango and passion fruit. Rudy’s description expounds even further “The nose has an exciting blend of dried rose petals, apricot nectar with a hint of malt and verbena. This is followed by the opulent mouthfeel so typical of the Grenache Blanc core and complemented by layers of white stone fruit, mango and melon with added notes of blood orange and pink grapefruit. The extremely long finish is a layered fusion of citrus, apple and honeyed pear that leaves you wanting for another glass.” At $28, this could be the find of the year in my opinion. A unique and decisively creative alternative to Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay, yet having subtle characteristics of both.

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Now back to the Cabernet Sauvignon. To date, the best they have made! Rich, dark and able to drink today and will lay down easily for 5-7 years. Rudy sums it up as “Light shadings of chocolaty French oak tie these bold components together into a complex, powerful, but still approachable rendition of classic Cabernet Sauvignon from the highly regarded appellation of Rutherford.”

If you desire a solid, creative wines, look no further than Kent Price Wines.  You will not be disappointed and you will be able to taste the expressions and passions “coming from the heart”.

http://www.kentpricewines.com

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