Kiona Cabernet Sauvignon/Merlot
This wine is less complex than the Enzo Bianchi described in my previous post, but very impressive for a price tag of $15. A deep wine, with the character of Red Mountain AVA fruit from the Columbia Valley. It exudes blackberry and dark berry flavors with a nice marriage of vanilla, leather, and toast. The bright edge to the wine is probably due to the mix of grapes that lifts its mellow depths and gives it so much more than you would expect. Cabernet Sauvignon at 50%, Merlot 15%, Syrah 13%, Carmenere 9%, Sangiovese 8%, Malbec and Cabernet Franc 2% each, and 1% Petit Verdot make for quite a lineup and contribute to its complexity.
When comparing this with the Enzo Bianchi, its not apples with apples, but appeal to appeal. There is less of an up-front powerful display of character but a presentation of a smooth and luscious wine that has no faults and just wants you to sit back, drink, and enjoy its pleasures. It doesn’t jump at you like the Enzo. Rather it commends itself for its quiet display of rich Cabernet that seems not to exclude any blending partner. This is a very good everyday wine with more depth than the price suggests and a far greater appeal. It even has a more viscous texture and equal softness. You will love this wine and still have a heavy wallet. You will generally note that the staying power of the aromas and flavors in a less expensive wine are not as persistent.
Cabernet is a perfect foundation for a red wine. It can also be fleshed out with other grapes to accommodate the winemaker in the pursuit of that unusual, but still traditional, wine.
If you are tasting the Enzo side-by-side with the Kiona (a great price difference), smell the empty glasses and note how the Enzo, even in an empty glass, is still hanging on as though it it is clinging to the glass and will be there tomorrow.
Emotional rating: I come away loving its difference and wanting more.
Available: In most places across the USA.