We would love to know your wine commentary about our wines...
which vintage, how
they tasted, who you shared them with, where you were... we will publish your stories on
E-mail them to NBentley@KinkeadRidge.com
Kinkead Ridge goes international! From one of
our retail customers:
On Wednesday, I attended a winemaker dinner at Dorothy Lane Market with
Giorgio Rivetti of La Spinetta. (The ones with the Dürer Rhino label)
Last night I returned for their holiday show where Giorgio was pouring
his wines and, after having such a great night previously, I gave him
two of your wines: 2010 Viognier/Roussanne and 2008 Petit Verdot. He had
not had any Ohio wines and was very happy to get them. I don't know if
they will make it back to Italy but he will be tasting the best that
Ohio has to offer."
Kinkead Ridge 2008 Syrah on a lake in Michigan
with Aaron and Dana and a cookout!
Kinkead Ridge at Keuka Lake: The comment:
"We spent last week on Lake Keuka in the Finger Lakes kayaking and
hiking and drinking wine. Enclosed is a picture of the wine we brought
with us... your CF is inkier and meatier than any CF or CS we tasted
On 2007 Cabernet Franc:
From one of our wholesale customers: "We have had your cab franc on our
flight menu for about a week now. I cannot begin to tell you the
remarkable response we are getting. If I had the supply, I would have
already sold more than 3 cases of it! The flight has your cab franc,
another Ohio cab blend (made from California grapes) and a Napa
Cabernet. Every single person who has tried the flight has picked yours
as the favorite--most of them have asked to buy at least one bottle. Two
people asked to buy a case.
You wouldn't believe how thrilled I am to have some that I can offer
people on our flight menu! I am so grateful that you were able to bring
those to me!
"From Dan McGrew's blog, November 2009:
"On Friday night we opened a 2005 Cabernet
Sauvignon and couldn't have been happier with the results. This wine is
doing great in the bottle - and is doing better out of the bottle and in
the glass. Great Cabernet structure with some forward fruit, good body,
nice acid and tannins and oak that have integrated into the fruit. The
nose was fruit, wood and tannin and smelled like Cabernet should smell.
It was extremely food friendly. Very good wine that has to be at its
peak, but not showing any signs of fading."
From Dan McGrew's blog, February 2009:
"The wine of choice for last
night was a local wine, a 2005 Kinkead Ridge Cabernet Sauvignon.
There was a really nice bouquet when the cork came out with dark fruits
and sweet oak. The color was medium dark and after a few swirls and a sip
there were definitely some cassis and black cherries and just a hint of
tobacco. A little more swirling and the tobacco faded. This was the first
time for this wine other than tasting it at the winery when it was
purchased on release. It has settled and matured nicely in the bottle into
an extremely drinkable wine. There is nice acid, and there's a tremendous
balance between the fruit and the oak. It's a sweet oak taste with soft
tannins that sort of envelop your tongue. There's enough in this wine to
last a few more years, but it is excellent right now."
From the dogswine.blogspot.com in November 2009 while Dan was in
"Earlier in the week
there was a rib eye roast that was seasoned simply and cooked in in a
moderate oven. I always make it a habit to take a bottle of wine with me
so this year for the first time I took an Ohio wine, Kinkead Ridge
Cabernet Sauvignon from the 2004 vintage. Like the title of this piece
says, taking an Ohio Cabernet to northern California is rather like
carrying the coals to Newcastle to help the city burn a little more. It
was a very good wine that is now at its peak. The tannins have matured
and softened a little but the wine retained good acid and its currant
flavors. Good match with the rib roast and not out of place in any way
in some very good company."
From Chris Dillman, Sommelier, Rosendales, Columbus Ohio, quoted in CMX
You like some Ohio vineyards. That may be surprising to some.
"There were wines that surprised me at first, too. My wife and I
helped judge the Ohio versus Michigan wine tasting a few months ago. The
quality of the average wine was nothing short of abysmal. A few of them
should have earned a flogging for the person who put it in bottle –
really, shamefully bad, incompetent wine making. The few that do it
well, do it really well. Ron and Nancy of Kinkead Ridge are doing great
things. All estate bottled, all Vitis vinifera (European common grape)
and all good wines, regardless of where they were made."
Rarely, we get an
extraordinary phone call. Jeremy gets it... how
hard we work; how passionate we are about fine wine.
From Jeremy, wine store
employee, MacClarens, Columbus Ohio.
"Hello there Nancy and Ron.
This is Jeremy who works at MacClarens in Grandview in Columbus, and I
just want you to know that I just tried this wine; I tried the
Revelation and I thought to myself immediately, Ron Barrett must be
really, really happy that he can make wine like this. This wine is an
epiphany. It's absolutely fabulous, as is the Cab Franc, the second
label, and I just want to thank both of you for pursuing and making this
stuff; and I am at a crossroads deciding whether to tell anybody about
this wine and sell it, or drink it all with my friends. So I'm just
telling you that maybe you should hear once in a while just how
delightful that wine that you make, makes people like me so happy.
Thanks very much. I'm sure you're out busting your tails doing more, but
please take my sincere congratulations on a really nice pair of wines."
From Irv, New York/NY:
I received my wines last week. After letting
them recover from their travels and receiving your e-mail, I decided to
open a bottle of the Kinkead Cabernet Sauvignon. I want to let you know
that it was very good the first night, but even better the next day. (I
used a vacu-vin). I find that the better made wines are able to tolerate
or improve over a few days. The poorly made ones become non-potable. It
is hard to believe that a wine this good at this price point was made in
Ohio. It will be interesting to try it again in a few years.
Unsolicited testimonial from David, Powell, Ohio:
"Your 2005 Cab Franc is delicious. The
juicy black berry/cherry nose and floral accent, with a touch of
smoky oak was surprising! This is an Ohio wine? Then I tasted
it... WOW! Top quality! I love the rich smokiness, pretty fruit,
and just the right amount of spice. Thank you!"
Kinkead Ridge in France!
Nancy's best friend Norma visited friends in France and brought a
bottle of the 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon. It was pronounced: "un tres
bon vin!" I like that blue tablecloth!
"I am having a blast with the Kinkead Ridge wines! I have poured them blind to various "experts" and love to watch the results; 'ah yes this is probably the Cheval Blanc 03' "
--Melvyn Masters, wine author, importer of Tortoise Creek wine (France) and Denver
restaurant owner, on Kinkead Ridge 2004 Cabernet Franc.
At a private
wine-tasting in mid-February, a large group chose Kinkead Ridge 2004
Cabernet Franc in a blind tasting which included a $47 Veeder and an
Portet, the founding winemaker of Clos Du Val in the Napa Valley
and of Domaine Nizas in France says this about the 2004
did I find the opportunity to open up your bottle of Viognier-Roussanne
with a couple of friends and then with John Clews, the VP, Director of
Vineyard and Winery Operations of Clos Du Val. I did like it very much.
I did find it very fragrant but not shouting “Viognier” all over the
place, elegant, with plenty of charm. Balanced and equally elegant and
charming palate. Much of the character of its aroma could be found in
its taste. There was a great balance of fullness, freshness, and good
complexity, along with a good finish. Definitely a very enjoyable wine.
John did concur with the above. Congratulations!"
An April review
I wanted to share
with you my excellent winedrinking experience as we opened a bottle
of the 2003 Cab Franc. Fantastic wine. What a great acid profile
(like a great Pinot Noir) but with ripe fruit throughout!
"I gave a bottle to
Susan to take back to Boston and she had her friends over and
served the Kinkead Cabernet. Her friend, who is a wine
connossieur and collector, tasted the wine and was silent for a
few moments and said, "oh My". Well Susan did not
know what he meant by that and after about 10 seconds he said
it was magnificent....I still have about 3 bottles left and I am
telling you they bottled a good one in that batch of Cab."
Sandra Silfven, wine writer Detroit Daily News:
"The Viognier/Roussanne was another home run. The Cab Franc was an
utter delight. I called it a "happy" wine. The nose was so
bright, the flavors so over-the-top correct. In my mind, I compared the
body and mouth feel to a French red burgundy. It was not the high-extract
deal, but very powerful for not having that concentration that is so
popular in California. Three days later, the nose was just as sassy."
Kinkead Ridge in Canada. A fishing lake, 1000
miles from the border, courtesy of Brian of Cincinnati.
Perry, Cincinnati, says: "Do you still have
the 2004 Cab available at the winery?
I went to a local vendor and they were out.
We went to your "opening day" tasting and bought a 3 bottles
of your cab. That night, I made a nice flank steak on the grill and
the cab was AWESOME! It
was as good if not better than Grgich Hills and Jordan I have had on
Review from Bridget in
"WOW, your 2004 Cabernet Sauvignon was spectacular! I have to admit,
I was "all about" the California wines and did not think that an
Ohio wine could wine me over, but after smelling and tasting this
gem... Well, let's just say that there is a new kid on the block in
my wine cabinet these days! Great job! Thank you for making such a
Ridge in Cleveland
From Lou Dorazio
Over past two weeks
have had the great opportunity to taste several Kinkeads:
1) River White an
excellent value w/ lots of flavor & complexity. An
unusually good change of pace in white wines.
2) 2005 Syrah - great
fruit color, needs more time in the bottle to develop in the nose
& taste. Still exhibits a lack of complexity that I feel
comes from younger vines. Wonderful potential in the future
as the wine is well made technically, the fruit shows
exceptionally well. As these vines get older, their root
system will pick up more terroir which will give the wine
complexity & the earthy nose I look for.
3) 2005 Cab Franc -
After drinking this I understand what & where the unknown
qualities I found in the Cab Sauvignon came from. What a
solid wine. The herbaceous nose & flavor were so
dominant !! And it was these traits I tasted and smelled in
the proper ratio in the CS (along with the terroir). This CF
still needs more bottle age but I sure liked it.
4) 2004 Cab Sauv -
still too young but boy it's gonna be a winner. Beautiful
fruit color & nose, really deep. Compared to the '03,
does not have the terroir complex nose yet. But it is in
there, just needs some more time. And then I feel it will be
better than the '04 because of the deeper fruit shown.
I still find it hard
to believe that these wine are Ohio. They are so good, but
better than being good, they are extremely complex.
SSSOOOOOOOOOO interesting to drink. Thanks to you and your
partner for doing this in Ohio.
I went to Jerry's wine store and
bought his last bottle of 2003 Cab. Had it that eve with
roast brisket & mash potatoes ... WOW what a surprise;
what a great, well made wine ... the way you have successfully
captured the "essence of the terroir" is amazing !!!
This wine had all of the traits of a good Bordeaux in a great
vintage year. I congratulate Kinkead. The next day I
called Pat O'Brien wine store (they had zero left of any of your
wines) and they raved at your abilities to make great Ohio wines.
I then called J. Pistone's and they had 5 cabs left and 1 bottle
of River Valley white ....... I bought all. I have a long
history of wine tastings starting in 1978. I've been to
Burgundy, California, Oregon, Washington & Ontario. I
belong to several Wine Tasting clubs for over 25 yrs. I've
tasted hundreds of wines, especially reds, and prefer pinot noirs
and cabernets. Your '03 cab has a fantastic earthy, barnyard
nose and a well balanced fruit and acid taste that goes well with
food. The remarkable thing is it came from Ohio, and I've
had many Ohio wines. I am not a wine "snob" and
understand what it takes to grow and make wine in our climatic
area. I'm a firm fan of supporting local farmers and food
producers which I learned after owning my own restaurant for +20
Good Luck, Lou Dorazio ....... a votre
Ridge in Florida
We were on
holiday in Kauai and of course I brought only the best wine to
compliment the turkey (well, chicken actually-seems there's no such
thing as a turkey there) I probably carried that bottle 6000 miles,
and it was worth it!
Brian and Jaci
Ridge in Bordeaux, 2006
Allen and Patti Dale, Jean-Luc and Marie Christine Gallardo along
with our friends from Washington CH, Dan and Bobbie Stahl. The
bottle of Kinkead was autographed by the winegrower, and inscribed
"A votre sante"... To your health!
2006, from JS, Virginia:
For the first time in three or four years I took out a little wine
dog and pony show, touring what, in my view, are the top wine shops
in Washington D.C., showing off what are to me, wines made in the
eastern U.S. that could fit comfortably into an international wine
list in a top restaurant. Of course, there are many more now than
when I started doing this 30 years ago. This outing started at Jim
Arsenault's "vineyard" shop in McLean, VA. The wines I was
showing were Kinkead Ridge Syrah and McPherson Syrah from Lubbock,
Texas. Both are fine efforts, but wherever I went, with one
exception, your wine was preferred. The other shops were Silesia
Liquors, Mike Tilch, Silesia, Maryland, Cleveland Park, Tony Quinn,
Washington D.C., Wide World of Wine, Elliot Staren, Washington D.C.
and Tom Hanna, MacArthur Beverage, Washington, D.C. They all
liked your wine. Several mentioned the idea that because of your
overlapping names, you would be a natural match up with Kinkead's
Restaurant (our city's best seafood house). They have one of the
city's best wine lists (operated by Michael Flynn). Happy new year.
Thank you again for allowing us to visit your beautiful slice of Ohio Wine
Country...When Teresa and I got home, we immediately chilled down a bottle
of the Viognier/Roussanne...what a fantastic bottle of wine! (It passed
the "smell test" with Teresa and she's making me save the other
two bottles until the new year). It was great to meet Ron, and for what
it's worth, I think what you guys are doing is amazing!
*comment from Nancy, Teresa is abstaining until the baby is born in
Ridge in Ireland
Jack Kinkead, County Antrim, ordered Kinkead Ridge for his father
Jack's 80th birthday!
cabernet was great... very good and I think they have a
Dick Erath: Erath Winery, Dundee Oregon
"We had a bottle of the '02 Revelation recently... we all thought it
was dynamite and it would give a lot of Frenchies a run for their
|Early review by John Poston, www.ellerbebecket.com
"I opened a bottle of 2003 Syrah before the official
release date. . . a lovely wine with a kind of elegance one doesn't
from Syrah. Visually, it reminds me of a Pinot Noir, but the
instantly the classic meaty Syrah. Taste also is very classic,
meat, olive and spice that I really love in Syrah. All in all, nice
restraint and a perfectly balanced wine. I really, really liked it."
Many many miscellaneous people at
"We can't believe these wines are from
|Bob Monica, The
Wine Shoppe, Dublin
After spending the better part of seven years avoiding Ohio made wines we
have been delighted to recently discover some producers whose vintages we
not that we're wine snobs. But as operators of a fine wine store we
feel compelled to provide our customers with... fine wine. While we
applauded the efforts of many Ohio producers few of their wines ever
raised to a level that we could comfortably call fine wine. Until
We have now discovered (another) Ohio Winery making superior vintages -
Kinkead Ridge of Ripley, OH. Partners Ron Barrett, Winemaker and
Nancy Bentley, Managing Partner are producing solid vintages of Cabernet
Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Syrah and a lovely Viognier/Roussanne.
All are reasonably priced and will soon be available in our wine
We highly recommend the wines from both of
these wineries and think you will be pleasantly surprised by their
quality. Whereas we can't yet regale them quite the way we do some
of California's finest, we understand that the development of wine
production made from noble grapes is in it's formative stage here in Ohio,
and in other non-traditional wine producing states.
We look forward to a time when we can point
with pride to Ohio made wines with the same level of enthusiasm as we do
the wines of Oregon, Washington and California. In the meantime we
recommend that you try a variety of wines from both Busch-Harris and
Kinkead. Ridge. You may be shocked to discover just how good they really
We'll keep searching for outstanding Ohio
wineries and bring them to you as we find them.
Dayton Daily News
Mark Fisher on the Ohio festival at the 2nd Street Market:
the better white wines offered came from Kinkead Ridge, a
vineyard and estate winery near Ripley, east of Cincinnati. The
2004 Revelation ($12.95), 70 percent sauvignon blanc with
semillon and other grapes also in the blend, was dry and steely,
with no oak -- a New Zealand-like style that was a refreshing
departure from some of the heavily oaked chardonnays offered by
some of the other wineries. And it's not a blend that will be
duplicated any time soon, because the sauvignon blanc grapevines
are not faring so well and are on their way out, Kinkead Ridge
winemaker Ron Barrett said. The 2004 Riesling ($10.95) also was
a touch drier than its counterparts. The quality of Kinkead
Ridge's whites made me curious about its reds, but alas, the
winery had sold out of their 2002s, with the 2003s (cabernet
franc, cabernet sauvignon and syrah) scheduled for release in
Jones, (England) says the following about the
Ridge excels again. Just when I thought winemaker Ron Barrett should be
best known for white wine, he has produced an exciting Bordeaux-style
red blend. Comprising 53% Cabernet Franc, 45% Cabernet Sauvignon and
just 2% Petit Verdot, its origin would fool many experts in a blind
tasting and could easily be confused for a Médoc of the Cru Bourgeois
If Kinkead Ridge can do this with young vines, the future looks very
Revelation tempts one with its vanilla and cherry notes on the nose.
These are confirmed along with bramble and blackcurrant on a
middleweight palate that leads to a long, smooth finish.
Small volume means full order books, so be brave and order in advance.
That will give you a chance to enjoy a rising star from Ripley,
Nancy about Ron:
In the last two weeks, Ron has pulled three all-nighters until 5:30 a.m.
to crush the white vinifera grapes. He's got a lot of guts. He told me
last year he made himself a promise not to allow the grapes to suffer;
last year, we let the Riesling sit overnight before crushing it, and he
said when he walked into the winery, it smelled like nail polish, and
whatever it took, he would never do that again!
Topic: Ohio makes a real wine: Kinkead Ridge
Vineyards 2001 Syrah
Posted October 03, 2003 / eRobertParker.com /
Mark Squires' Wine Bulletin Board
Author: Edward Hatfield, Executive Oenophile Member #813
"Southern Ohio has a new vineyard started
by a guy who has spent a lot of time in Oregon growing wine. Finally someone has
gotten serious about making wine in Ohio. Rot Barrett planted and raised 40
acres of pinot and other grapes in Oregon that was eventually sold to Soter
vineyards in 1997.
I have visited this vineyard and was anxious
to try their first release.
100% American Oak, grown on young vines (4-5 years old?) on ancient Limestone
hills overlooking the Ohio river). Great on the nose reminiscent of an Aussie
Shiraz, oak apparent and classic fruit bomb Syrah characteristics. I would have
guessed Aussie if presented blind. Dark ruby verging on purple color. Sweet and
approachable with medium density. Does not seem to deliver the punch that is
promised on the nose. Moderate length and sweet ripe tannins on the finish. A
very good wine from a difficult vintage in Southern Ohio. This is very
impressive given the age of the vines. 88 points.
But I am expecting big things and I know the owners
have the dedication and skill to bring out the best that this excellent Terroir
has to offer.
It is really exciting to find a real vineyard producing
real wine in Ohio. Just remember you heard it here first. Ohio is on the map! I
will keep you posted."
********* Follow-up posting next day
"I was very surprised that this wine seemed
to add depth and weight overnight. It was even better the next day.
Upgrade of score to 89 points."
Wine's Taste of Place
Linda Murphy, San Francisco Chronicle Wine
of wine's finest attributes is that it can taste of the place
where the grapes were grown... Climate, soils, drainage,
elevation, slope, sun exposure, availability of water -- even
air pollution -- affect how a vine grows and thus the wine it
produces. Although winemakers can influence the aroma, flavor
and texture of their wines by their choices of barrels,
yeasts, fermentation techniques and aging regimes, few argue
that the environment in which the grapes are grown -- the
French call this terroir -- is key in determining how
distinctive a wine will turn out, how it will separate itself
from the pack of like varietals. It does this by expressing a
sense of place, or as my colleague W. Blake Gray wrote last
week about old-vine Zinfandel, a taste of history and distinct
personalities in a glass."