2012 Benoni Pinot Noir "Petits Grains" Carneros
 
We're sorry, this offer is sold out.
Read about wines still available for purchase »


Carneros When Cash is King

Between May 17th and 24th, we scoured the Napa and Sonoma Valleys. By the time we completed our cellar hopping tour, we'd tasted hundreds of 2012s in barrel. Everything we'd heard about the quality of what Caymus' Chuck Wagner called this "watershed vintage" was true. The second largest harvest in recent history had given birth to some of the richest and most sumptuous reds in decades.

How to describe the top 2012 Pinot Noirs from Carneros, Sonoma Coast and Russian River? Particularly when drawn off the most meticulously farmed parcels where growers are mindful of crop load, these Pinots are astonishingly deep, rich and vibrant -- marrying the broadness of 2007, the juiciness of 2009, with the floral structure of 2010. Despite alcohol readings that often surpassed 14 percent (natural), just a few of the top wines seemed "hot." The vintage's fine acid backbone marvelously braces all the red fruit opulence, keeping these powerhouse Pinot Noirs high-toned and light on their feet

But paradoxically, despite the astounding quality, many of the winemakers with whom we visited expressed concern. "After the tiny 2011 crop, all of us were excited by the potential yields in 2012. But when harvest arrived, somehow the crop was far bigger than we'd imagined. Many of us were caught unaware. I honestly believe 2012 to be one of the finest three or four vintages in thirty years -- but we've completely run out of space! If we don't lighten up, we'll drown in our good fortune."

For the first time in four years in Napa and Sonoma, cash was king.

Truth is, had we known what we were getting into before we began negotiating the purchase of the 2012 Benoni "Petits Grains" Pinot Noir, we would have likely pulled the plug. Despite this winery's cash needs, its own brand is on fire. Any possibility of this half-price offer negatively impacting the winery's reputation, or somehow inadvertently revealing the name of the single-vineyard label under which this Pinot Noir will soon be marketed, had to be addressed and avoided.

It would take the better part of two months to identify all the risks and mitigate them. In the end, the only three parties who will profit from today's offer are the lawyers on each side -- and the WineAccess membership.

The 2012 Benoni Pinot Noir "Petits Grains" is brilliant deep ruby to the rim. Plush and mouthwateringly primary on the nose, infused with plush aromas of black cherry, black raspberry, sweet herbs, drizzled with framboise liqueur. Rich and voluminous on the attack with superb silken mouthfeel, packed with crushed red fruit and dark cherry preserves, the finish -- as is the case with all the great 2012s -- remains rock solid, perfectly buttressing the fabulous natural opulence of the vintage.

The deal was signed on July 15th. All monies were wired the following morning -- a month before this lavish Pinot Noir was bottled under two labels.

Tasting Notes

2012 Benoni Pinot Noir "Petits Grains" Carneros
"Brilliant dark ruby to the rim. Plush and mouthwateringly primary on the nose, infused with plush aromas of black cherry, black raspberry, and sweet herbs, drizzled with framboise liqueur. Rich and voluminous on the attack with superb silken mouthfeel, the core is packed with crushed red fruit and dark cherry preserves. The finish really shows off this vineyard's pedigree, beautifully bracing all of the vintage's red fruit opulence with its fine acid backbone. Drink now for its primary fruit hedonism or lay down for 5-7 years in a cool cellar."
-- WineAccess Travel Log

 

By law, wine may ONLY be shipped to the following states: AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, KS, LA, ME, MI, MN, MO, NC, NE, NH, NM, NV, OH, OR, PA, SC, TN, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY.