HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: 2009 Kendall Jackson Vintner’s Reserve “Summation” red blend (43% Zinfandel, 24% Syrah, 21% Merlot, 5% Grenache, 4% Petite Sirah, 3% Other varietals), California. 13.5% ABV. $17 SRP, usually $13, available for as little as $8.99.

Late last year, I reviewed the 2009 K-J “Summation” white blend and highly recommended it (see http://www.thefrugalwinesnob.com/?p=670).

We’ve also enjoyed several bottles of the 2008 “Summation” red blend, which was a “special occasion” everyday house wine for us, if that makes any sense. I’ve come close to writing a full review about it, but if memory serves, the wine was a little subdued, something that happens not uncommonly with blends. (The 2008 was 46% Merlot, 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 11% Zinfandel, 6% Petite Sirah, 4% Cabernet Franc, 4% Syrah, 1% Other varietals.) I mean, we liked it, a lot, but I never got around to writing anything more than a sub-review of it within the review of the white, linked above.

Well, the 2009 has overcome any shyness or confusion, and bursts forth with easygoing confidence.

With a beautiful clear garnet color and pink, nearly clear edges, the nose reveals raspberry, cedar, and jam, with nothing overpowering. The taste reveals all that and more, including chocolate, pipe tobacco, and black cherry.

The wine just sings with a beautiful clear high note, so until doing the research, I wasn’t sure whether the predominant grape would be Zinfandel or Petite Sirah, possibly even Grenache. Turns out all three are present in the blend, singing in perfect harmony. With the Merlot to add some calming tenor notes, and Syrah to add some syncopation in the form of pepper, this lovely, balanced wine is now a wine of choice for us, not only for everyday but also for serving guests. With none of the wildness or rangy texture that is sometimes present in the single varieties, this imaginative blend is a winner with a clear texture, plenty of layers to enjoy, and just a touch of sweetness to dispel any questions about whether this wine is all work and no play.

LABEL: The whole is more than the sum of its parts. Inspired by Bordeaux-style wines, Summation blends classic red varietals into a beautifully layered, complex whole. Smoother than Cabernet Sauvignon, richer than Merlot, more balanced than Zinfandel, this red wine blend offers intriguing flavors and aromas: roasted coffee, dark chocolate, pomegranate and black cherry intertwine to offer a multi-layered mouthfeel and sumptuous texture.

WEB NOTES: Growing regions: 74% Mendocino County, 14% Sonoma County, 4% Napa County, 8% Santa Barbara, Monterey, San Luis Obispo Counties.

WINEMAKER’S NOTES: This beautifully layered wine is rich, complex and offers a sumptuous texture. It displays alluring fragrances and flavors of raspberry jam, dark chocolate, black cherry and pomegranate. Smooth tannins envelope the mouth and linger beyond each sip.—Randy Ullom, Winemaster

WEB: www.kj.com

This entry was posted in California, Grenache/Garnacha, Merlot, Petite Sirah, Red Blend, Syrah/Shiraz, Zinfandel. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: 2009 Kendall Jackson Vintner’s Reserve “Summation” red blend (43% Zinfandel, 24% Syrah, 21% Merlot, 5% Grenache, 4% Petite Sirah, 3% Other varietals), California. 13.5% ABV. $17 SRP, usually $13, available for as little as $8.99.

  1. Birdrockfab says:

    It’s often on sale and has become one of our favorites! So happy we tried.

  2. Derek Jesser says:

    My wife and I were given a bottle of 2009 Summation some time ago and never got around to trying it until last week. I’m not usually a fan of red wines and tend to stick to the sweeter white wines such as Riesling or Moscato but we absolutely fell in love with this wine! I’m now starting to try other red wines and expand my palate.

  3. Colleen says:

    served KJ Summation for dinner party last night with ribeye steaks. What a compliment to the beef! The rich, buttery feel and delightfully light acidity complimented the meal with great success. Can’t wait to try it in sauces and stews…

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