I have been writing this blog daily for at least four months, and I am still sorting wine labels, matchbooks, restaurant menus and other keepsakes that allow me to remember stories. As I was sorting a box of labels that I had soaked off of empty bottles, I discovered a certain trend.
We have enjoyed a lot of Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay wines through the years. We keep some in the house for our friends that enjoy this wine, and it has always been a “go-to” wine in restaurants that have a limited selection of wines on their list. The late Jess Jackson started the winery in 1974 and his first vintage was in 1982. I once heard a statement that I will paraphrase that “people tend to talk about dry wines, but that they prefer some sweetness.” From what I have read his first vintage under his own label was not a true dry Chardonnay, so he labeled it a “vintner’s reserve” and it took off from there. He was an attorney, but he was a marketing genius.
I have copied one paragraph from the Kendall-Jackson site which goes on to list all of the other brands that under the Kendall-Jackson umbrella. “Among the wines made in the Jackson Family collection are Kendall-Jackson Wine Estates, Cambria, Stonestreet, Edmeades, La Crema, Cardinale, Lokoya, Hartford Family Winery, Vérité, Carmel Road, Murphy-Goode, La Jota, Freemark Abbey, Byron Estates, Arrowood in the United States; Chateau Lassegue in France; Tenuta di Arceno in Italy; Yangarra in Australia; and Calina in Chile. Jackson Family Wines is one of California’s few remaining family-owned winery groups, with family members working full-time in a variety of positions.” We have tried some other wines as well, and as I go along down the road some of them will be discussed.
I am showing the labels that I have loose and unmounted; I did not try to go looking behind all of the racks in my cellar for other years. As I have mentioned in a past article I used a lot of labels as wallpaper in my cellar. I am only showing Chardonnay labels and most of them are “vintner’s reserve” though there are a couple of other grades as well. I also discovered two different labels for the same year.