Benessere St. Helena Phenomenon Estate 2001
This is the second release of our Estate Blend Phenomenon. The blending of Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot is a relatively new "Phenomena" for California. As such, we think it is fitting to name our wine after this occurrence, as it is a blend of all four varietals. It is also patterned after some of the "Super-Tuscan" wines of Italy: Wines which have jumped the boundaries of regulations and tradition, utilizing superior grape clones and artisan blending to make the best wine possible, without regard to varietal makeup. On our 36-acre estate, we now have Sangiovese, Syrah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon planted, and we have used each judiciously to craft this premium blend. The winemaking is low-impact, with gentle handling as the key to full extraction of ripe flavors. All hand operations from picking and sorting, through punch-downs and gravity racking affect the wine in a positive manner. 312 half-cases were bottled on February 14, 2003. It has had 19 months of bottle aging prior to release on October 1, 2004. We limited the crop on our young vines to one cluster per shoot, and thus obtained a meager 2.3 tons per acre average yield. These low yields ensure the production of intensely flavored fruit. This wine is a unique "phenomenon" in California. It is a blend of four red varietals - Sangiovese, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, and Merlot from our estate vineyards in St. Helena and is the culmination of efforts since 1996. It is patterned after the most famous blends of Tuscany. Each year from our 42-acre estate, we will produce a wine that is the finest blend of varietals grown on our property. Only 156 cases of the 2001 vintage were produced. 2001 Phenomenon notes 2001 Phenomenon label Phenomenon is the pinnacle of winemaking at Benessere. It is produced only in quantities commensurate with our highest expectations. As such, we feel that Phenomenon is a wine that is age worthy and substantial enough to pair with the heartiest of dishes. This wine has aromas and flavors of dark, ripe cherries and plums, with notes of creamy and toasty oak, and a hint of vanilla. It is perfect to share with friends and family and to toast all joyous occasions. The 2001 growing season was a roller coaster of sorts. A dry winter and the most severe frost in 20 years put all vineyard managers on alert that 2001 would be a challenge. The hottest May on record, followed by a very warm June and July predicted an early harvest. August cooled off considerably, allowing the grapes to ripen more slowly. After several false-starts, the grapes were hand-harvested over the period of September 13-October 10. We feel that the 2001 vintage is our best to date.
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.
Food Pairings for Benessere St. Helena Phenomenon Estate
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