Benessere Zinfandel St. Helena Estate Black Glass 2002

Winemaker's Notes:

This wine represents the finest Zinfandel we produce at Benessere from our Estate vineyards. We carefully thin each vine in the vineyard from a potential of 5+ tons per acre down to less than 2.6, thereby maximizing the flavors developed by the remaining fruit. Harvesting at maximum ripeness, without developing port-like characteristics is crucial. Concentration is the hallmark of this vineyard. Gentle handling into our open-topped fermentors and hand-punching the skins into the juice allow the intensity of flavor in the skins to slowly release into the wine. After 38 days on the skins, we pressed the wine into a combination of new, tight-grained American oak and once-used French oak barrels. Decanted twice from the barrel, this wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered. Vineyard location - St. Helena Estate--"Black Glass Vineyard" Dark ruby/purple in color, the seductive aromatics of raspberries and cherry jam, mingle with a creamy vanilla-custard. Distinctively rich and pure in aroma and flavor, the ripe cherry/raspberry and chocolate malt flavors integrate well with toasty oak and spice. Pair this wine with aged beef and dry jack cheese. The substantial structure will allow this wine to age well for the next ten-plus years. The 2002 vintage growing season was memorable. A moderately dry winter and the second consecutive year of severe spring frost damage coupled with heavy rains during "bloom" caused a "natural" thinning by Mother Nature. June and July were on the cool side of the dial, but August produced an early heat spike that ratcheted up the maturity of all varietals. A September warming trend relieved our fears that it would be a late harvest, allowing the grapes to ripen fully.

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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


This wine represents the finest Zinfandel we produce at Benessere from our Estate vineyards. We carefully thin each vine in the vineyard from a potential of 5+ tons per acre down to less than 2.6, thereby maximizing the flavors developed by the remaining fruit. Harvesting at maximum ripeness, without developing port-like characteristics is crucial. Concentration is the hallmark of this vineyard. Gentle handling into our open-topped fermentors and hand-punching the skins into the juice allow the intensity of flavor in the skins to slowly release into the wine. After 38 days on the skins, we pressed the wine into a combination of new, tight-grained American oak and once-used French oak barrels. Decanted twice from the barrel, this wine was bottled unfined and unfiltered. Vineyard location - St. Helena Estate--"Black Glass Vineyard" Dark ruby/purple in color, the seductive aromatics of raspberries and cherry jam, mingle with a creamy vanilla-custard. Distinctively rich and pure in aroma and flavor, the ripe cherry/raspberry and chocolate malt flavors integrate well with toasty oak and spice. Pair this wine with aged beef and dry jack cheese. The substantial structure will allow this wine to age well for the next ten-plus years. The 2002 vintage growing season was memorable. A moderately dry winter and the second consecutive year of severe spring frost damage coupled with heavy rains during "bloom" caused a "natural" thinning by Mother Nature. June and July were on the cool side of the dial, but August produced an early heat spike that ratcheted up the maturity of all varietals. A September warming trend relieved our fears that it would be a late harvest, allowing the grapes to ripen fully.

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