Blue Rock Vineyards
Alexander Valley AVA
Located in Alexander Valley where Cabernet really shines
Sonoma County's Blue Rock Vineyard was producing wine some 100 years before Cheryl and Kenny Kahn purchased the property in 1987. It was actually discovered by Italian immigrants in the 1880's and named 'Villa Maria.' They planted grapevine cuttings and ancient olive trees, many of which are still producing oil on the property to this day. Villa Maria Vineyard came and went with Prohibition and the land sat dormant until the Kahns brought this special piece of land back to life.
Kenny Kahn realized his love of wine in his hometown of Memphis in the 1980's. Following his graduation from Rhodes College, he joined his father in the discount brokerage business. Fortuitously, Kenny's neighbor frequently invited him over to taste from his impressive collection of California and Bordeaux wines, and though this, he was educated about and greatly inspired by these reputable wine growing areas. Shortly thereafter, he and his wife realized their shared dream of moving out to California, and in 1985 they made it a reality.
Although Kenny was splitting his time between Blue Rock and a brokerage job in San Francisco, his labor of love was the vineyard. The Kahns renovated the land and the original 19th century home and replanted the vineyard with 46 acres of the five red Bordeaux varietals, plus 3 acres of Syrah. It's located in Alexander Valley, a vast expanse of land east of the Russian River. The estate benefits from its hillside location, warm days, and most importantly, its notable soil composition of blue pebbles and boulders of serpentine, from which Blue Rock gets its name. Although difficult to farm, the serpentine soil forces the vines to struggle and therefore produce lower yields of highly aromatic grapes with concentrated fruit flavors. Kenny credits the vineyards' unique soil for the eloquence of their wines.
Kenny eventually transitioned into wine full time, and in 2001 he brought on Nick Goldsmith of Simi Winery as a consulting winemaker to produce the inaugural release of 550 cases. Since then, the winery has grown to produce some 12,000 cases per year. Today, his focus is on continuously improving his vineyard with meticulous viticulture techniques, and striving to achieve balance among his vines. Thanks to this, he has been able to produce ultra premium, award-winning Bordeaux varietal grapes in a region not well known for this style, and we can only expect that more award-winning wines will follow.
We're excited to share this amazing Red Blend with all of our Gold Plus! Wine Club members!
Dear Platinum Wine Club Members,
I am excited to have you try our 2010 Best Barrels Cabernet Sauvignon. Best Barrels is just what it sounds like. The first Best Barrels dates back to the 2003 vintage when, tasting through each of our barrels before bottling, I discovered one that was exceptional. It was the one “WOW” barrel and we decided to bottle it (one barrel is 24 cases of wine) for our mailing list customers, just for fun.
In 2003, the Best Barrels was Malbec that I planted in 1987. Everyone LOVED it and wished that they could get more. I made the commitment that our flagship cuvée, Best Barrels, would only be made if and when there was something truly unique and special. Therefore, it is not made every year. Furthermore, it could be any varietal or blend that we produce as long as it measured up to the standard that I mandated. I am not restricted by brand, fashion, or finances as there is not much of it and it quickly sells out. My only restriction is self-imposed; that is, it must be the best that we can do and without compromises.
The 2010 vintage was one of the finest at Blue Rock of my 15 year winemaking career. The critics gave the vintage a mixed review, saying that it was a cold year and that quality was uneven. From my perspective, it was a vintage that was right in my wheelhouse. In fact, it was so good that I made 3 Best Barrels wines; a Malbec, a Merlot, and the enclosed Cabernet Sauvignon.
There were only 272 cases produced and I made a handful available due to my friendship with the Gold Medal Wine Club. If you would like to learn more about our Estate vineyard, winemaking, and hospitality, please join our mailing list at bluerockvineyard.com.
Please enjoy and let me hear from you!
Kenneth (Kenny) Kahn