• WS: 86

    Wine Spectator Score

    86

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  • WA: 86

    Wine Advocate Score

    86

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Benessere Sangiovese Napa Valley 1998

Winemaker's Notes:

Sangiovese is a varietal that needs TLC. It may be second only to Pinot noir in level of difficulty in winemaking. It is said that all winemaking begins in the vineyards, and so it is with Sangiovese. The clone, rootstock, spacing, trellising, etc. is imperative with Sangiovese, not to mention site specificity. Then the process of shoot thinning, cluster thinning and crop dropping right after veraison is enough to make any winegrower weak in the knees. If that is not enough, the fruit must be picked at exactly the right point of maturity. Then the fun begins: hand sorting, no-pumps, gentle hand maceration, gravity draining and pressing, straight to barrel, no pumps-gravity racking to 40% new and 60% once used, tight-grained French oak barrels where it will finally rest. After 15 months of aging and two rackings, the wine was bottled unfiltered. It has received seven months of bottle aging prior to release on September 1, 2000. The 1998 Sangiovese is both elegant and powerful.  It is like Sophia Loren in an Armani suit.  Darkly hued, extracted wine, with loads of black cherry, plum and violets and milk chocolate.  1998 Sangiovese notes  1998 Sangiovese label  The 1998 Sangiovese is both elegant and powerful. It is like Sophia Loren in an Armani suit. Darkly hued, extracted wine, with loads of black cherry, plum and violets and milk chocolate. The Allier and Troncais forest oak barrels add toasty, hazelnut and vanilla aromas to the wine. This wine has a smooth entry of berry fruit, a full mid-palate, and a jammy, creamy finish that befits a varietally true Sangiovese. The 1998 vintage was one of the latest on record. A long, cool spring and summer had winemakers wringing their hands in anticipation of the impending harvest. Fall came early, with cool days causing the fruit to ripen very slowly. "Hang time" of the fruit was maximized. It was a true "winemakers" harvest, meaning that those with patience with respect to picking, were paid dividends in the cellar.

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Benessere Vineyards:
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.
Suggested Recipe Pairing presented by
Layered Rice Pudding

RiceSelect's fragrant Jasmati® is blended with eggs, milk and fall's favorite spices, cinnamon and nutmeg, to create a delicious rice pudding, which is layered on top of fluffy cream cheese and abuttery pecan crust. Pairs well with a bold, tawny port with flavors of dried fruits, nuts, and spices.

View Recipe


Sangiovese is a varietal that needs TLC. It may be second only to Pinot noir in level of difficulty in winemaking. It is said that all winemaking begins in the vineyards, and so it is with Sangiovese. The clone, rootstock, spacing, trellising, etc. is imperative with Sangiovese, not to mention site specificity. Then the process of shoot thinning, cluster thinning and crop dropping right after veraison is enough to make any winegrower weak in the knees. If that is not enough, the fruit must be picked at exactly the right point of maturity. Then the fun begins: hand sorting, no-pumps, gentle hand maceration, gravity draining and pressing, straight to barrel, no pumps-gravity racking to 40% new and 60% once used, tight-grained French oak barrels where it will finally rest. After 15 months of aging and two rackings, the wine was bottled unfiltered. It has received seven months of bottle aging prior to release on September 1, 2000. The 1998 Sangiovese is both elegant and powerful.  It is like Sophia Loren in an Armani suit.  Darkly hued, extracted wine, with loads of black cherry, plum and violets and milk chocolate.  1998 Sangiovese notes  1998 Sangiovese label  The 1998 Sangiovese is both elegant and powerful. It is like Sophia Loren in an Armani suit. Darkly hued, extracted wine, with loads of black cherry, plum and violets and milk chocolate. The Allier and Troncais forest oak barrels add toasty, hazelnut and vanilla aromas to the wine. This wine has a smooth entry of berry fruit, a full mid-palate, and a jammy, creamy finish that befits a varietally true Sangiovese. The 1998 vintage was one of the latest on record. A long, cool spring and summer had winemakers wringing their hands in anticipation of the impending harvest. Fall came early, with cool days causing the fruit to ripen very slowly. "Hang time" of the fruit was maximized. It was a true "winemakers" harvest, meaning that those with patience with respect to picking, were paid dividends in the cellar.

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