When Michael and I were in Sonoma last December, we stopped by Hartford Family Wineries and had a great conversation with one of the guys in the tasting room. After chatting with him for a while we realized that a wine that he suggested was very likely to be one we would like so we asked for recommendations for wineries to visit. He recommended Deerfield Ranch. So we squeezed it in before heading to a scheduled tasting/pairing at the Mayo Reserve room.
Deerfield is in The Sonoma Valley near Kenwood. As you drive in you pass through the Kenwood Marsh, 14 acres of the last remaining wetlands ecosystem that once covered the entire Sonoma Valley. After purchasing the property PJ and Robert Rex spent 6 years restoring the wetlands after 30 years of them being grazed by cattle. They established the Kenwood Marsh Checkerbloom society and were granted a conservation easement for the land. The Kenwood Marsh is one of only two places on earth where the Kenwood Marsh Checkerbloom grows.
The Kenwood Marsh is home to Checkers and Checkmate, two 16 foot giraffe sculptures. You can join the adopt a giraffe program adopting a 5 ft baby giraffe sculpture to take home or allow to roam the marsh and support the Kenwood Marsh restoration project.
Once you arrive at the winery you enter the cave for the tasting. They have a tasting bar, a few table and a very comfortable leather couch seating area. Ben was there to do our tasting and took great care of us pouring a glass of the Sav Blanc for us to enjoy while he finished up with another tasting. There are times when the passion of the person pouring really comes through and this is definitely the case with Ben. We didn’t find anything that we didn’t like. The Red Rex was a fantastic blend. Unfortunately, we didn’t have the opportunity to linger long because we had an appointment at the Mayo Reserve room.
Recently, Khoury’s here in Las Vegas did a Friday night tasting with Robert the owner. Michael and I were not able to attend and were pretty bummed. But….Sarah Rex (sister in law and national sales rep) was at Khoury’s doing another tasting and we were able to go.
Realizing that time, place, what you had for breakfast, the weather…..can all influence your reaction to a wine, I was excited to see if these wines would live up to what I remembered. They did! Across the board we enjoyed everything. We also sampled their new label @ which made from surplus grape juice that they purchase and tweek and make available at very reasonable price points. We tasted the 2009 Alexander Valley (always single appellation wines) Cabernet Sauvignon. At $12.99 this is a great easy drinking wine. It is a Cabernet that you can drink now, it is not too bold or tannic so it goes down smooth. Perfect for a glass in the evening after work. The Red Rex was as good as we remembered. Although the Syrah seemed lighter and fruitier than I had remembered. We had a wonderful time chatting with Sarah and are thrilled to have a local wine shop carrying their wines.