Is it odd that this wine catches my eye because of “The Prisoner”? While I’ve never had that particular red blend, this evening marks the occasion of my first bottle (a 2013) of the Judge & Jury from Kunde Family Estate in Sonoma, California. Years ago my wife and I visited this esteemed winemaker while traipsing through some of Sonoma’s amazing vineyards but I am 100% positive we didn’t taste the Judge & Jury on that trip. Candidly, I’m not sure it had been created by that time.
Fortunately, it exists today and my wine rack holds three more bottles even after this first one fades into distant memory. It is pretty delicious, the brain child of Kunde’s Zach Long, and a Zinfandel-influenced red blend. The 2013 Judge & Jury combines Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah grapes into one easy-drinking yet bold wine. It’s aged in 20% new oak to manage the tannins, and the outcome is a very smooth finish that you’ll enjoy. Of the Judge & Jury the winemaker comments, “The 2013 Judge & Jury artfully combines the intense fruit flavors and tannic qualities of Cabernet Sauvignon, the softness and body of Merlot, and the spice of Zinfandel and Syrah into its own unique style.”
This purple bit of goodness is packing notes of black cherry and black raspberry, and you’ll definitely vibe out some vanilla stick and white(?) pepper too. I’ll look forward to sharing additional notes on the Judge & Jury as I make my way through successive bottles of this Sonoma treat.