Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Calistoga Wine Tasting: Bennett Lane Winery

      Bennett Lane Winery is a few minutes north of Calistoga on Hwy 128. A little off the beaten path, the winery is easily found once you're in the neighborhood. Priding themselves on being "The friendliest tasting room in the Napa Valley", Bennett Lane is open to the public seven days a week.

     The tasting room is newly remolded and excitedly decorated, your senses will certainly be awakened by the time you sample the first wine. As we bellied up the marble bar we were greeted by our host, hailing from Healdsburg, he was very knowledgeable and answered all of our questions.

Tasting Overview:

 2009 Maximus White Feasting Wine: A blend of 87 % Sauvignon Blanc, 11% Chardonnay and 2% Muscat, it offered crisp clean flavors. Passion fruit and sweetsop were followed by hints of green apple and citrus. It’s the perfect front porch wine.

2007 Reserve Chardonnay:  Made using 30% Malolactic Fermentation it offered just the right amount of butter. I found it to be fruit forward and fairly well balanced.

2006 Maxiums: A red blend consisting of 65% Cabernet Sauvignon, 20% Merlot, 10% Syrah, and 5% Malbec. This wine offered black and red fruit both on the nose and the palate; as well as hints of tobacco and dark chocolate. The acidity and velvety tannin make this wine very food pairable.

2006 Napa Cabernet: Although we tried the 2006 Reserve Cabernet, I took this one home. Both wines offered complexity, balance and bold flavors. I just enjoyed the tannin on the Napa Cabernet a little more; it was a little softer yet carried through until the end. I am looking forward to laying this wine down for a year or two and seeing how it develops as the fruit falls away and the structure changes. Based on the acidity, it’s probably best enjoyed within the next 3 years. 

      All in all it was a nice time. The Bennett Lane experience is a modern one, from the décor to the iPads*, this isn’t your grandfathers wine tasting. (They even have their own racing team.) 

Private tours and tasting offered by appointment
Bennett Lane 
3340 State Highway 128
Calistoga, California 94515
(707) 942-6684 

* Ever wonder where the name iPod and iPad came from?
The name iPod was proposed by Vinnie Chieco, a freelance copywriter, who (with others) was called by Apple to figure out how to introduce the new player to the public. After Chieco saw a prototype, he thought of the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey and the phrase "Open the pod bay door, Hal!", which refers to the white EVA Pods of the Discovery One spaceship.

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