Calistoga, Napa Valley

“Kenefick Ranch sits on some of the most remarkable land in the Napa Valley” Napa Valley Register

Winery: A well-respected grower, Kenefick Ranch Winery uses only ten percent of what they grow. The Ranch sells fruit to Caymus, Eisele, Nickel & Nickel, Cade, B Cellars, Elizabeth Spencer, Venge, La Sirena and several others. Originally planted in the 1800s, it is owned by retired neurosurgeon Dr. Thomas Kenefick, and his children Caitlin and Chris Kenefick. After the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Kenefick practiced neurosurgery in San Francisco for decades. Due to family farming connections, he was drawn to Napa Valley in the 1970s, purchasing the ranch in 1978 when it was still plowed by horse. His scientific background ideally suited him for the biology and chemistry used in successful growing and winemaking.

Estate Vineyard: Located by the dramatic Calistoga Palisades, the 125 planted acres include gently sloped, steeply sloped and flatter blocks of varying soils. Managed by the Garcia family for decades, their crew meticulously farms fruit of extremely high quality, using removal of cluster wings, de-clumping bunches growing too close together, adjusting cluster-shading, quick replacement of ailing vines, canopy management and other methods. The warm terroir naturally produces clusters smaller than Napa Valley floor, yet larger than mountain clusters, ripening earlier, reflect minerality from the volcanic soil and creates grapes with higher natural acidity and tannic structure. The vineyard is farmed sustainably, certified both as Fish Friendly and Napa Green Certified.

Winemaking: Style reflects the warm and volcanic terroir, producing age-worthy, and often concentrated wines that reveal gorgeous aromatics and layered flavors. Kent Jarman left Duckhorn in 2006 to join Robbie Meyer in making Kenefick Ranch wines and later became the sole Winemaker. Stating that he tries to “let the wines and the property speak for themselves,” he employs hand-picking and sorting in the vineyard, 4-6 people at the sorting table, use of native yeasts, longer cold soaks, and higher fermentation temperatures to achieve balance and complexity. Reds are cold-soaked for 4 days, and aerated with pump-overs twice daily during the 14 day fermentation.

Sauvignon Blanc 2019, Kenefick Ranch Estate, Calistoga, Napa Valley

 Winemaker Notes: “to the crisp grapefruit side of things, showing those tangy and tropical notes we love so much for this SB.” Primarily Bordeaux clones, with yields of just over 3 tons/acre, harvest starting mid-August. Native yeast-fermented in 10% once-used French oak, 90% neutral, aged sur lee for 6 months. No new oak. Their 2015 SB was in Wine Enthusiast Top 100 Wines of the World. 350 cases

Picket Road White Rhone Blend 2016, Kenefick Ranch Estate, Calistoga, Napa Valley

Winemaker Notes: “Aromatics of anise notes, floral essence, honeydew melon, and citrus blossoms. All of this is underlined by a rich grapefruit, white peach presence on the entry. A creamy middle palate supported by a crisp finish.” A blend of 60% Grenache Blanc, 30% Marsanne, 10% Viognier, native yeast fermented in neutral French oak, aged sur lee for 6 months. Ages quite well. No new oak. 192 cases.

Merlot 2016, Kenefick, Kenefick Ranch Estate, Calistoga, Napa Valley

 Winemaker Notes: “Dried cherry, intense cassis, subtle coriander, and fresh plum aromatics. Raspberry preserve, vanilla bean and super fine, soft tannins on the seamless palate.” This is a Cabernet-Drinker’s Merlot, not just a big fruit bomb, and survived the Sideways debacle. Harvested early September from 3 tons/acre, blended with 12% Petite Verdot. Aged 18 months in 70% New French oak. 175 cases.

Cabernet Franc “Caitlin’s Select” 2016, Kenefick Ranch Estate, Calistoga, Napa Valley

Winemaker Notes: “Bright red fruits, elements of rhubarb, and baker’s chocolate on the nose. Firm tannins and complex
notes of graham cracker pie crust, with cherry filling. Good to drink now and will cellar well for the next 10-15 years.” 
From yields under 3 tons per acre, blended with 9% Merlot and 9% Petite Verdot. Aged 18 months in 65% new French oak, then bottle aged for 1 year. 400 cases.

Petite Verdot Blend “Picket Road Red” 2016, Kenefick Ranch Estate, Calistoga, Napa Valley

Winemaker Notes: “Fresh berry preserve, spicy French oak, vanilla bean and fresh cream. Intense fine tannins underline tamarind, tart boysenberry, and the extensive finish. Drink now and will age beautifully.” 63% Petite Verdot, blended with 25% Merlot and 12% Cabernet Franc from 3.1 tons/acre yields. Aged 18 months in 70% new French oak, then bottle-aged for 2 years. 200 cases.

Cabernet Sauvignon “Chris’s Cuvee” 2018, Kenefick Ranch Estate, Calistoga, Napa Valley

Winemaker Notes: “Fine tobacco leaf, Baker’s chocolate and a brooding dark fruit profile form an intense noose. Racy acidity and balanced tannin to oak rations support the jammy and refined fresh berry profile. Good now and will cellar well for the next 15+ years.” From yields of 2.5 tons/acre, blended with 10% Petite Verdot. Aged 18 months in 75% new French oak, and aged 1 year before release. 500 cases.

Cabernet Sauvignon “Doctor’s Cuvee” 2014, Kenefick Ranch Estate, Calistoga, Napa Valley 

100% Cabernet Sauvignon was hand-harvested from only 2.1 tons/acre from the tiny berries grown in the Clone 6 block, never sold to other wineries. Aged in 80% new French oak for 2 years, flashed in 10% new oak for 2 months, then bottle aged before release. 75 cases made.

Bordeaux Style Blend “Founder’s Reserve” 2014, Kenefick Ranch, Calistoga, Napa Valley

 Winemaker’s Notes: “Blended of the five essential Bordeaux varietals from the estate. The diverse profiles of varietal, soils and microclimate come together to create this stunning wine.” This Reserve Level wine long envisioned by Dr. Kenefick is 28% Cabernet Sauvignon, 24% Petite Verdot, 21% Merlot, 15% Malbec and 12% Cabernet Franc, from only 2.5 tons/acre. Aged in 80% new French oak for 2 years. 75 cases.

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Available trade materials for download. (POS, Shelf Talkers, Data sheets)