Fans of California Rhône-Style Reds Have a New Hero
If you are a fan of the big, bold, opulent, lavish wines from The Prisoner and Orin Swift, this is for you. However, when you consider that Brian Benson’s entire annual production is a mere 1,500 cases, you can get a sense of the care and attention that this 2013 Brian Benson Cellars Rapid Roy Red has received. Little wonder Robert Parker has said of Brian: “This is another newcomer fashioning impressive, high quality Rhone Ranger wines.” The Rapid Roy was drawn from a vineyard in the Willow Creek District of Paso Robles, which should call to mind Wine Spectator’s praise: “Fans of California Rhône-style wines should start paying attention to Willow Creek,” — so if you haven’t, now is the time. Aged in expensive French oak barrels for an astounding 28 months, this Rapid Roy Red was awarded 91-point reviews from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate and Antonio Galloni’s Vinous which called the 2013 a “rich yet lively, delivering solid closing punch.” It’s all that and more — rich and ripe, flaunting juicy blackberry and plum, accented with sweet spice. Available only from the winery in Paso — or from Wine Access today. This stunning red is primed for a dimly lit table, alongside an aged porterhouse, lightly seasoned and grilled to perfection.
The 2013 Rapid Roy was grown from several pristine sites in Paso Robles, the center of Brian’s winemaking universe. His philosophy centers around meticulous work in the vineyard, farming the vines to their true potential, and then allowing grapes to express themselves fully in the cellar. The result here, as The Wine Advocate put it, “gives up tons of incense, plums, black raspberries and cedary spice,” with “fine tannins and a great finish.”
Do as Wine Spectator suggests, and see what all the Willow Creek fuss is about. But do it fast, because our 300-bottle allocation is going to fly.