Benessere Port Napa Valley Chico's 2001
Chico: Chico was our official greeter from 1996-2004. He was an interesting mix of Rottweiler and St. Bernard. An imposing figure at 100+ lbs., he soon ingratiated himself with everyone who visited. His supine form was a fixture in our tasting room. Visitors learned to step over him in order to taste our wines. Seldom did a person leave the room without giving him a scratch behind the ears or on his belly. This wine is produced from the tiny ¼ acre vineyard next to our tasting room that Chico managed. He was always waiting for us in the morning and the last one we said goodbye to in the evening. Although he will be missed, he lives on in Chico's Port. Winegrowing: Vintage 2001 provided a canvas that proved suitable for growing port. Following a dry winter and severe spring frost, the vineyards endured an extremely hot May, and a warm June and July. August cooled off considerably, allowing the grapes to ripen more slowly. The grapes for Chico's Port were harvested by our crack team of harvest workers on October 10th. This wine is made from a single clone of Sangiovese grown on an extremely restrictive rootstock. Port is the traditional wine from Portugal. It is typically produced from Tinto Cao and Touriga Nacional, varieties used in Portugal. In California, Zinfandel is the main variety used to make Port. We may make the only Sangiovese Port in California. We made this wine traditionally by arresting the fermentation with grape brandy at 5.5 Brix. Pairing notes: Port is best served as an after dinner drink. The aromas of Italian Prunes, cassis jam and raisins are complemented by the smooth entry, supple flavors and lingering finish. Port may be paired with chocolate, aged cheeses, or desserts with chocolate or berry drizzles. This wine will age well for the next 10 years.
Benessere” is the Italian word for well being and prosperity. This is the feeling we try to embody at Benessere Winery. We are a small family owned, high end producer of Italian varietals, located in the north end of Napa Valley on the valley floor where the soil is well suited for growing excellent wine. We have expanded our selection of varietals to include Zinfandel, Merlot, Syrah and Muscat di Canelli. We also produce an outstanding blend called Phenomenon.