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By Michael Hepworth

Dave Koz, the diminutive but popular jazz saxophonist and radio DJ has launched three wines with the profits earmarked for his favorite charity, the Starlight Children’s Foundation. He chose his concert at the Hollywood Bowl in August with Brian Culbertson, Peabo Bryson and others to launch the range of two reds and a very good Sauvignon Blanc that could easily become prized collectors items due to their very limited production. Koz first signed with Capitol Records in 1990 with the release of Koz, and since then he has had at least half a dozen gold records and garnered a loyal following. As a philanthropist, he serves as Global Ambassador for the Starlight Children’s Foundation, recently completed a four year term on the Grammy Foundation Artists Committee, and has served as National Trustee for the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences.

Now his current focus is on his wine, and he has teamed up with Whole Foods to supervise the entire project from the beginning. Koz spent a lot of time on this project, interviewing many prospective winemakers in Santa Ynez, Mendocino and Napa to interview many prospective winemakers. They finally selected Chris Condos of Vinum Cellars in Napa Valley , a boutique winery and it looks like they selected a good one.  “Chris has an intense passion for the winemaking process, a wonderful sense of creativity and openness that I felt was really important in this collaboration,” says Koz.

The Koz Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($29.99) is a strong 100% Cabernet that has been aged exclusively in French Oak barrels for 20 months. It is a rich colored wine with hints of Cassis, Blackberry, Boysenberry, Black Cherry, Tobacco, Sweet Oak and a touch of Mexican Chocolate. Try and grab a bottle of this one and sit on it for as long as you can.  The Koz 2007 El Dorado “Red Alto” blend ($16.99) is a combination of Syrah, Grenache, Mourvedre and Petite Sirah grapes all grown in red volcanic soil in El Dorado County between 2500 and 3300 feet. The organic soil gives the grapes a hint of ripe black cherry, roasted plum, raspberry and spice.

I give the winemaker plaudits for the 2008 Koz 2008 Sauvignon Blanc ($16.99) which is 90% Sauvignon Blanc and 10% Viognier. The interesting fact is that it was aged in 50 percent French Oak Barrels and 50 percent stainless steel. Very crisp dry wine with a touch of pear, melon, key lime and a hint of orange blossom that was farmed organically

This is a worthy project that has a long way to go, but if the follow up wines can match up to the first three produced, then we have a new winemaker on the scene.

Fact Sheet

Websites:       www.davekoz.com








































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