Bob MacDonnell’s Round Pond Estate in Rutherford is a sight to behold if you’ve never been. The tasting room is stunning but work your way through to the rooftop deck area. It provides an unbelievable view of the valley floor unlike any other. You can look out over the 250-acre property and even check out the neighbors on each side, Beckstoffer’s Georges III on one side and Caymus on the other.
Of course, on my last visit there I was perfectly content sitting there looking out at the vista and feeling the light warmth from the fireplace when Thomas Rivers Brown grabbed me and hurriedly rushed me into the back. Was the 25 time 100-point score juggernaut going to give me an exclusive taste of his next perfect Cabernet?
No – that was old hat. His latest obsession centered around a small adjacent parcel of Chardonnay he had been working with for a couple of years and hoped to officially release in a future year. For now, much like the “Tractor Shed Red” from so long ago, this would remain a clandestine project just for friends and family or Kith and Kin, if you will.
This is the culmination of that tiny project, finally ready for its inaugural release. Having already received a gushing 93 point review from the Tasting Panel, the Thomas Rivers Brown 2020 Round Pound Kith and Kin Chardonnay is simply delightful.
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93 Points, Tasting Panel
“A debut variety for this label. Stainless steel fermented and aged for five months, it was pressed whole cluster, crémant style which resulted in fine acidity and an inner sunshine. Its just-sliced lemon- fresh nose sends one to a perfectly balanced palate. Melon, guava, and banana are glossy and clean. The stony mid-to-finish leaves a trace of terroir on the tongue.”
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