• Alice Hama

Kenzo Estate, Napa's New Gem

The rumor says “the next Opus One”, a brand new winery Kenzo Estate opened its door to the public in 2010. Since then, their growing attention from wine enthusiasts has made the winery as one of the hottest wine country destinations.

Kenzo Estate was founded by Kenzo Tsujimoto, the Founder and Chairman of Capcom, the Japanese video game empire.  In 1990, He bought 4,000 acres property on the hilltop of Mt. George in Napa. 70 acres are under vine plantings.  The estate benefits from the cooling fog in the morning during the growing season, which enables a suitable temperature control creating a perfect environment for adding structure and elegance to the grapes at harvest.

With the dream winemaking team led by the wine maker Heidi Peterson Barrett and the vineyard manager David Abreu, Kenzo Estate produces high quality reds and one white.  Heidi, “the Wine Diva”, had worked with big brands such as Silver Oak Cellars, Rubicon, and David Arthur. She arguably conquered the top of the power list in the wine making industry after she scored Robert Parker 100 points for her work at Dalla Valle Vineyards and again at Screaming Eagle.  Her wines are famed for their layered aromas and unique complexity in addition to its classic elegance and beauty.  David is also a world acclaimed viticulturist, and his past works include Napa’s icons such as Inglenook and Caymus vineyards.  His commitment in producing top quality grapes has been the important wheel of the winery.

The estate’s flagship wines include following five brands:  

Rindo, meaning the gentian in Japanese, is a red Bordeaux blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petite Verdot and Malbec.  This is a beautifully balanced wine with layered aromas of ripe red and black forest fruits commingled with soft and comfortable spices.  

Murasaki, color purple in Japanese, is also a Bordeaux blend.  In addition to the luxurious fruits aroma, it bears very silky sensation on the palate.  Both wines remind of high quality Right Bank Bordeaux wines especially they share similar characteristics with those wines from Saint-Émilion AOC.  

Ai, indigo blue in Japanese, on the other hand, is more of the true expression of classic style of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.  It displays warm climate fruits with earthy tone with a hint of smokiness.  

Yui, the unity in Japanese, is a rose wine made with red Bordeaux blend.  It has a beautiful citrus fruits and rose water aroma, followed by strawberries and red cherries.  

Asatsuyu, morning dew in Japanese, is a white wine made with Sauvignon Blanc.  Wonderfully balanced wine with citrus aromas, followed by white flowers bouquet with exotic perfume.  Rich and soft touch on the tongue is very enchanting.

Kenzo Estate 3200 Monticello Road  Napa, CA 94558 (707) 254-7572