The 14th vintage, the 2016 Valerie’s Vineyard Pinot Noir has arrived! Valerie’s terroir driven one-acre Carneros vineyard has delivered another winner and we think that vintage to vintage coming out of the drought has created a consistent, very Burgundian wine. The winemaking and attention to detail in the vineyard has never been better. We had solid success with the 2015 in New York and locally and we received some great press including 92 scores in some top publications. Like every vintage, the ‘15 is now sold-out.
The 2016 vintage, the 5th year coming out of drought produced great fruit that looked and tasted like pre-drought clusters, big and luscious. Although quantity increased (100 cases) the quality and color were maintained. The long growing season allowed the clusters and berries to create concentrated-long flavors and elegant, yet luxurious wines. Aged for 12 months in 100% new French oak, the wine presents a seamless and balanced matrix of fresh aromas and vanilla complexity. The garnet color is a signature of the 2016 harvest. Typical of our Los Carneros sub-appellation, the refreshing acidity and cranberry fruit components compose a wine that will bring instant gratification while paired with various cuisines and will also reward patience with incomparable ageability. Winemaker Jeff McBride and the bio-dynamic practices of Valerie’s winemaking home at Benziger Family Winery fit our farming practices and style perfectly. Our vineyard practices are guided by vineyard guru Phil Coturri.
There were only 100 cases produced of 2016. The wine retails at $40 bottle depending where it is purchased. Get this while you can from fine restaurants in Sonoma Valley like Sonoma Grille plus Broadway Market.
PRINCE OF PINOT 95 POINTS - "14.1% alc.,100 cases, $40. Three families hand farm this 1-acre vineyard along with vineyard practices guided by Phil Coturri. Produced and bottled by Benziger Family Winery, Glen Ellen (winemaker Jeff McBride). 14th vintage. Aged 12 months in 100% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light ruby red color in the glass. Intoxicating aromas of fresh berries, fertile earth and compost. Gorgeous in every way, featuring a vivid mid weight core of dark red cherry and berry flavors framed by engaging tannins and supported by juicy acidity. The unbelievably intense and persistent finish is a message from heaven. I have tasted almost every vintage of Valerie’s and the wines are consistently fine, but this one is the best ever."