Benessere Sangiovese Blend Napa Valley Phenomenon 2000
The newest major red varietal in California is Sangiovese. As with all varietals, understanding the grape, and where it is grown are paramount to the success of making good wine. We now have over 12 different clones planted on our estate in St. Helena, and feel that we can grow this wine as well as anyone has in California. We have much work in front of us, but that is part of the allure to the varietal: mapping the course for the grape, much as has been done previously with Cabernet, Chardonnay and Pinot noir. We continue to thin the vineyard to one cluster per shoot to minimize yield and maximize intensity. Harvest occurs when the fruit is ripe with flavor. The winemaking is meant to allow the fruit to show through; gentle destemming, traditional saignée for rosé, hand-maceration, gravity racking and bottling unfined and unfiltered. Bottle aging for 18 months completes the wine for release. St. Helena Estate and Oakville appellations Sangiovese is the best wine to pair with a meal. The natural acidity, medium body, spicy character and seductive perfume from the wine are complementary to most foods ranging from grilled poultry and Thanksgiving turkey to more substantial beef and lamb dishes. It was created for pasta dishes with either mushroom or marinara derived sauces. This wine will age well for 5-7 years and develop a brick-red edge as well as more of a terroir driven nose as the fruit complexes. The 2000 vintage was a wild one! After a relatively dry winter, we sprang into spring with rainfall that sometimes seemed as though it would never end. The mild spring produced a bud break at Benessere on St. Patrick's Day, a week earlier than 1999. With a mild-cool spring, and a low yielding vintage previously, we felt we were in for a big crop. Careful thinning of the fruit down to one cluster per shoot allowed the grapes to ripen evenly and concentrate the flavors. A late heat spell in August pushed everything ahead by two weeks over the previous vintage.
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.