Kathryn established her vineyard during “The Wine Boom of the early 1970s”. New fashions and lifestyles were being introduced by the likes of Sunset Magazine and Julia Child. Bright colors, fresh California produce, outdoor dining and a taste for the finest foods in the European tradition were all the rage. This included a taste for the classic French Wines and the high art they represented. Kathryn was a pioneering female in the CA wine industry. Her brand was one of the first to bear a woman’s name. Skip forward to today, the winery still produces some of the country's best Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc wines.
LATERAL is a project by Katheryn's son, winemaker Marty Mathis. His extensive experience with California wines and many famous mentors (including Kathryn) and teaming up with the Kathryn Kennedy Winery, has begun crafting some very interesting red and white varietal wines. When Marty Mathis says he can no longer drink the big cabernets he enjoyed in his youth, he’s speaking from almost 50 years’ experience. He took over the winemaking team at Kathryn Kennedy Winery and has been doing so since 1981. LATERAL is a blend of 63% Merlot and 37% Cabernet Franc from their Napa Valley Vineyards including well known level vineyards such as Robert Sinskey, Yount Mill and Pat Garvey. Their winemaking team has been given awards ranging from 95+ to double gold medals 3 years in a row.
Tasting Notes: Savory, gentle aromas that carry sweet oak, light herbs and complex ripe fruit aromas in keeping with its right bank Bordeaux model. Powdered dark chocolate, soft purple plums and vanilla oak aromas swirl around in the controlled and inviting nose. Fresh, clean and powerful flavors center on sweet oak and roasted fruit. Bright berry flavors are carried along by pleasant fine tannins very much in balance for early drinking. This vintage is never ponderous but instead ideally structured in a classic European style meant to accompany food. I expect this wine to persist for everyday drinking pleasure for many years, very much what LATERAL has become known for.