Benovia Winery

Owner(s) Joe Anderson, Mary Dewane, Michael Sullivan
Web site www.benoviawinery.com
 
Link to this site
Benovia Winery

The idea for Benovia Winery was first launched in 2003 when Joe Anderson and his wife Mary Dewane bought a 55-acre ranch that was for sale west of Healdsburg, California. The property included old vine Pinot Noir and Zinfandel on the Cohn Vineyard. In 2005, they purchased the Hartman Road Vineyards and Winery in the Russian River Valley from Cecil DeLoach.

Winemaker Michael Sullivan, who had made many brilliant Pinot Noirs at Hartford Family Winery) joined as a partner to lead the winemaking, vineyard development and management of the winery. Chris Kanga, who had worked at DeLoach Vineyards for 25 years, is the vineyard manager. Bob Mosby was the initial face of Benovia initially, overseeing sales and customer relations (replaced in 2012 by Sara Ysunza). Jen Walsh joined Benovia as assistant winemaker in 2013.

The winery and vineyards were quickly upgraded and acres of new vines were planted. The first commercial release was of the 2006 vintage which won the praise of wine critics and customers alike. New vineyards have been planted on a 40-acre parcel the winery acquired adjacent to the winery, as well as another 16-acre site near Freestone. Benovia now has 71 acres of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Zinfandel vines. The winery's ultimate goal is to produce almost all their wines from vineyards they own and farm. An old house on the property has been converted to a visitors center for tastings and dinners.

The name, Benovia, is named after the owner's (Joe Anderson and Mary Dewane) fathers. They merged Mary's father's name, Ben, with Joe's father's name Novian, to create Benovia. The name Benovia is a testament to what their fathers taught them about hard work, striving for perfection, and taking pride in what they do.

Tasting in a nicely appointed hospitality center is available by appointment (707-526-4441). A comfortable three bedroom house (Vineyard Hideaway Cottage) in the middle of property's vines is available for rent.

Reviewed Wines

2011 Benovia Bella Luna Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 250 cases. 100% estate fruit. 30% whole cluster. · Moderately light reddish-purple hue in the glass. The nose is not open for business yet showing faint aromas of purple fruits. Middleweight flavors of blackberries, black plum and spice underlain with subtle oak, sporting supple tannins, and finishing with good intensity. I especially like the tannic mouth feel on the end. Very good. Reviewed June 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Benovia Cohn Vineyard Sonoma County Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 50 cases. Unreleased. This vineyard was rehabilitated and is now in its sixth year of being farmed organically. The vines are in much better health, but yields are still minuscule at ! ton per acre. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Fresh, clean aromas of plum sauce and redwood. Very polished mix of red and purple stone fruits with an accent of brown spice. Very soft tannins and welcoming mouth feel. Good to Very good. Reviewed June 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Benovia La Pommeraie Russian River Valley Chardonnay

14.5% alc.. Dijon clones. · Light straw color in the glass. Opens slowly over time revealing aromas of baked pear and nutty oak. A bit bigger than the AVA Chardonnay, with a more seductive smooth and slightly creamy mouth feel. Nicely flavored with notes of apple, pineapple and lemon backed by bright acidity. Still a bit awkward and needs more time in bottle. Good to Very good. Reviewed June 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Benovia La Pommeraie Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 400 cases. Sourced from Martinelli’s Zio Tony Vineyard with yields of 2 tons per acre. Clones 777 and “828.” · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Terrific aromatics that make you really sit up and take notice. Scents of black raspberry, plum reduction sauce, and rose petals. The most intensely flavored and concentrated Pinot Noir in this vintage but still very approachable, largely due to restrained tannins and bright acidity. A special wine already. Very good (+). Reviewed June 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Benovia Russian River Valley Chardonnay

14.1% alc., pH 3.51, TA 0.68, 750 cases, $34. Released March 2013. Sourced primarily from Martaella Estate Vineayrd. Old Wente, Dijon and suitcase selection. Fermented in barrel with indigenous yeast and aged for 14 months in 35% new French oak barrels. · Light straw color in the glass. Bright aromas of lemon curd, peach and oak vanillin. Crisp and refreshing, featuring flavors of lemon, grapefruit, and hazelnuts. Lively acidity and a very dry, lemon drop finish. Good. Reviewed June 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Benovia Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.61, TA 0.63, 1,600 cases, $38. Released March 2013. 60% estate Martaella Vineyard with the remainder from Martinelli, Lingenfelder, Dutton and Petersen vineyards. A blend of Calera, Swan and Mt. Eden selections, Pommard, and Dijon “828” and 943. 10% whole cluster. Indigenous yeast fermentation. Aged 16 months in 40% new French oak barrels. · Moderately light reddish-purple color in the glass. Nicely perfumed with fresh cherries and roseate notes. Flavors of Bing cherries, cola and exotic spice. Drinks bigger than the color would indicate. A solid, go-to, daily drinker. Good. Reviewed June 23, 2013 ARTICLE »

2011 Benovia Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 1,600 cases, $38. 60% Martaella Vineyard blended with grapes from Martinelli, Lingenfelder, Dutton and Petersen vineyards. Multiple heirloom and Dijon clones. Aged 16 months in 40% new French oak barrels. · Delicate but pleasing aromas of red cherry, baking spice and rose petal lead to lighter weight flavors of cherry, spice, cola and tarry oak. Score: 86. Reviewed January 20, 2014 ARTICLE »

2011 Benovia La Pommeraie Russian River Valley Chardonnay

14.5% alc., 275 cases, $48. The name of the vineyard is French for “apple orchard,” and this wine definitely has an apple flavored theme. Dijon clones 548 and 95 from Zio Tony Vineyard. · Aromas of lemon, pear and nutty oak. Well-endowed with flavors of lemon curd, apple, pineapple backed by lively acidity, and a hint of toasty, caramelized oak on the finish. Score: 90. Reviewed January 20, 2014 ARTICLE »

2011 Benovia Bella Una Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 250 cases, $56. 100% estate fruit (heirloom clones from Martaella Vineyard), 30% whole cluster. · Deep aromas of Bing cherries, raspberries, spice and subtle oak. Luscious core of black cherry and black raspberry fruit supported by staunch tannins, finishing with a bit of oak. Needs time to soften the tannins and fully integrate the oak. Score: 89. Reviewed January 20, 2014 ARTICLE »

2011 Benovia La Pommeraie Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 400 cases, $56. Sourced from Martinelli’s Zio Tony Vineyard. Dijon clones 777 and “828”. · The aromatics are stunning, with bright scents of black cherry, black raspberry and blueberry. Richly flavored with plenty of lip-smacking sap, but very approachable due to supple tannins and refreshing acidity. A special wine to be enjoyed now or can easily age 5 to 7 years. Score: 92. Reviewed January 20, 2014 ARTICLE »

2011 Benovia Cohn Vineyard Sonoma County Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 50 cases, $65. This vineyard was planted in 1970 to a massale selection of Pinot Noir clones, most likely Martini 13 and Pommard. · Fresh scent of cherry pie glaze, plum sauce and forest. Mid weight flavors of ripe cherries, red plum, savory herbs, and earth. On the leaner side in this vintage, with firm tannins, bright acidity, a juicy finish, and good integration of oak. Score: 89. Reviewed January 20, 2014 ARTICLE »

2010 Benovia Bella Una Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

Primarily Pommard clone from Martaella Estate Vineyard. More whole cluster. · Darker in color. Very aromatic, even stunning in intensity of dark fruits. Smooth and sexy on the palate with a well-mannered load of dark berry and plum fruit flavors, backed by restrained fine-grain tannins. An exceptional offering. Very good (+). Reviewed July 22, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Benovia Cohn Vineyard Sonoma County Pinot Noir

40-year-old vines from a 6.5-acre vineyard offering very low yields. A monopole for Benovia. Volcanic soils. · Aromas of wild berries, cassis and sauvage. Soft and smooth on the palate with generous raspberry and blackberry flavor, supported by ripe, soft tannins and lively acidity. The wine has a mineral-laden and animale quality that makes it quite unique. Another exceptional wine from this vintage. Very good (+). Reviewed July 22, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Benovia La Pommeraie Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

From the dry-farmed Zio Tony Vineyard including clones 828 and 777. Tends to be a big wine. · Demure aromas of dark berries and exotic spices. Luxurious and soft on the palate, with generous and bold flavors of perfectly ripe blackberries, wrapped in firm tannins. Very young and unevolved. Very good. Reviewed July 22, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Benovia La Pommeraie Vineyard Russian River Valley Chardonnay

250 cases. From the Zio Tony Vineyard owned and farmed by George Martinelli, planted to high-density Dijon clones. Aged in 40% new French oak. Vineyard was once an apple orchard. · Tropical, exotic fruit aromas. Delicious flavors of pineapple, white peach and citrus, persisting on the long finish. Commendable acid spine that is nicely folded in to the entire fruit mix. Very good (+). Reviewed July 22, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Benovia Savoy Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

From organically farmed, 18-year-old vines including Martini, Pommard, Calera and Dijon 114 clones. · Delicate aromas of rose petals, dark berries and cocoa. The fruit really pops on the palate with a welcoming stylistic finesse. Happiness in a glass. Very good (+). Reviewed July 22, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Benovia Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

70 cases from 3 Sisters Vineyard owned by the Martinelli Family, which previously supplied fruit to Marcassin. Whole cluster pressed and fermented with indigenous yeast. 100% MLF. Aged 16 months in 30% new French oak. · Aromas of fresh green apple, citrus and pear. The flavors echo the nose. Bright and crisp with nicely integrated oak. Very good. Reviewed July 22, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Benovia Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.61, $38. From selected blocks from estate vineyards and fruit from a few premium growers. Calera, Swan, Pommard, and Martini heirloom clones plus Dijon 115, 6667, 777 and 828. 5% whole cluster. Aged 17 months in 40% new French oak. · Nicely perfumed with spicy Bing cherries, dark red berries and rose petals. Relatively light in weight featuring redder fruits including cranberry, accented by a note of tar and cola, displaying mild tannins and a dry finish. Good. Reviewed July 22, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Benovia La Pommeraie Russian River Valley Chardonnay

14.5% alc., $43. · Light straw color and clear in the glass. Moderately rich and very Russian River Valley in character, yet has enough restraint to appeal. Aromas and flavors of fresh apple, citrus, honey and brioche. Like biting into a juicy, ripe caramel apple on a stick. Beautifully balanced with just the right amount of oak. Reviewed April 13, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Benovia Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.63, $45. Predominantly Mataella Estate Vineyards fruit. Dijon, heirloom and Pommard clones. · Aromas of red berries and berries. Bigger and riper than the Sonoma Coast bottling with moderately full flavors of cherries and cola, finishing with admirable length. Very good. Reviewed July 22, 2012 ARTICLE »

2010 Benovia La Pommeraie Russian River Valley Chardonnay

14.5% alc., $48. · Pale golden straw color and clear in the glass. Aromas of ripe pineapple, crème brûlée, petrichor and banana. Stylish and smooth on the palate with a delicious array of complimentary flavors including apple, pear, lemon, buttered brioche, oak, caramel and spice. Beautifully balanced with a long finish. The apple flavor really stands out in this wine which tastes like the best apple pandowdy you ever had. A celebration. Reviewed January 19, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Benovia Bella Una Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $56. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. Shy but pleasing aromas of blackberries, char and wet earth. Strikingly flavorful with oodles of dark berry and plum fruits dressed with exotic spices and smoky oak. The flavors hit the mid palate with a vengeance and march through to the finish with intensity and persistence. Soft tannins make for easy drinking now, but this wine is the most backward in the 2010 lineup and needs cellaring. At this stage, the flavors are ahead of the aromas. That said, it is a gorgeous mouthful of fruit now. Very good. Reviewed January 19, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Benovia La Pommeraie Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $56. · Dark ruby color in the glass. Stunning aromatics featuring bright aromas of black raspberries accented with vanilla, oak and spice. The palate is soft, plush and long featuring delicious black cherry, black raspberry, black tea and cardamom spice flavors, finishing with an appealing crispness. This is a saucy, spicy number that grabs on and brings you to attention. Even better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. An 2013 All-American for sure. Reviewed January 19, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Benovia Savoy Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $56. · Medium reddish-purple hue in the glass. Deep red cherry perfume with notes of spice and cola. A flat out beautiful wine that is a killer on the palate with generous flavors of cherries and dark berries accompanied by a haunting bit of earthiness and sauvage in the background. Soft in the mouth, moderately rich in body, offering impeccable balance. The best Pinot Noir I have tasted from Savoy Vineyard in the challenging 2010 vintage. Reviewed January 19, 2013 ARTICLE »

2010 Benovia Cohn Vineyard Sonoma County Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $65. · Moderately dark reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is more earthy than fruity with added scents of briar and forest floor. Redolent of lush, dark, earth-infused red and black fruits picking up intensity over time in the glass. Almost bruising in character. Very softly textured with balanced tannins and a very generous finish. Very good. Reviewed January 19, 2013 ARTICLE »

2009 Benovia Sonoma Mountain Grenache

A small production item from winemaker Michael Sullivan’s family vineyard. · Intensely fruity with a rich core of red and black berries, black currants and mu shu plum sauce backed by ripe, muscular tannins. Good. Reviewed July 23, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Benovia Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay

14.2% alc., pH 3.48, TA 0.63, 120 cases, $32. Released March 2011. From the Four Brothers Sullivan Vineyard on the western slope of Sonoma Mountain. Whole cluster pressed and fermented with indigenous yeast. 100% MLF. Aged 16 months in 40% new French oak barrels. Old Wente clone. · Tropical fruit spirited with added aromas and flavors of blood oranges, pears, oak spice and vanillin. Not a wine to contemplate, but one to enjoy for its up front charm. Good. Reviewed July 23, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Benovia Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., pH 3.68, TA 0.59, 820 cases, $38. Released March2011. Primarily Petersen Vineyard with lesser amounts of Dutton Manzana, Martaella, and Martinelli vineyards. A combination of heirloom selections and Dijon clones. Aged 17 months in 45% new French oak barrels. · Nicely perfumed with aromas of black cherries and baking spice. Highly approachable and very tasty array of dark fruits with supple tannins. A stellar daily drinker for current consumption. Very good. Reviewed July 23, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Benovia Sonoma County Zinfandel

500 cases, $38. · A cooler weather styled Zinfandel that drinks more like a Pinot. Despite its hefty alcohol, the wine is light on its feet and not jammy with bright purple fruits, especially blackberries, with hints of white pepper and restrained fine tannins. Quite a delightful drink. Very good. Reviewed July 23, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Benovia Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., pH 3.62, TA 0.61, 120 cases, $45 (nearly sold out). Released March 2011. Primarily Pommard clone from Martaella Vineyard. Aged 17 months in 40% new French oak barrels. · Bright aromas of dark red fruits with a hint of savory herbs. A little heftier than the Sonoma Coast bottling with a juicy core of dark red cherries and berries and a rif of herbs and spice. Good. Reviewed July 23, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Benovia ‘La Pommeraie’ Russian River Valley Chardonnay

14.5% alc., pH 3.31, TA 0.79, 470 cases, $48. Released March 2011. From the Frei Road Vineyard owned and farmed by George Martinelli. The vineyard is closely planted with a very high density of 2,420 vines per acre. A blend of Dijon 95 and 548 clones. Whole cluster pressed, indigenous yeast fermentation and weekly lees stirring. Aged 16 months in 47% new French oak barrels. · The most intense Chardonnay and always my favorite in the Benovia Chardonnay lineup. Lovely aromas of citrus peel, baked pear and honeysuckle. Slightly creamy on the palate, with crisp flavors of apples, pears and lemons with a minerally undertone. An hi-collared offering that will please any Chardonnay aficionado. Very good (+). Reviewed July 23, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Benovia Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

$48. From one of Lee Martinelli’s vineyards. Aged 14 months in 45% new French oak barrels. · A classic Chardonnay with striking aromas and flavors of fresh apples and candied citrus. Very crisp and bright on the palate with a juicy, dry finish. Very good. Reviewed July 23, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Benovia ‘La Pommeraie’ Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

$56. Sourced from a Martinelli Family vineyard in the Russian River Valley which at one time was an apple orchard (thus the name, “La Pommeraie,” French for apple orchard). Clones 777 and 828. · This is the one wine in the 2009 lineup that is relatively closed. We initially pulled the cork and found the wine reluctant, and an hour and a half later, it had just begun to open. Fruity aromas augmented by scents of spice and graham. Flavors of dark plums and black cherries framed by firm tannins. My least favorite in the lineup now, but time in the cellar will undoubtedly change the experience. Good. Reviewed July 23, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Benovia Bella Una Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

$56. An hi-end blend from the different subregions of the Russian River Valley (Green Valley, Middle Reach and Laguna de Santa Rosa). Clones 115 and 828 primarily from Seven Mules and Manzani vineyards. · Vibrant scent of mixed berries, sandalwood and Asian 5-spice. A very elegant and sophisticated wine with crisp dark red cherry and berry flavors filling the mid palate with joy and softly exiting with aromatic intensity. Very good. Reviewed July 23, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Benovia Savoy Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

$56. · This wine is filled with charm offering aromas of black cherries and baking spices and flavors of black raspberries and juicy red plums all wrapped in soft tannins and framed in bright acidity. The mouth feel is pure silk. Quite precocious for Savoy Vineyard, but the wine’s perfect balance will lead to a long cellar life. Very good. Reviewed July 23, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Benovia Cohn Vineyard Sonoma County Pinot Noir

$62. A historic vineyard first planted to Pinot Noir and Zinfandel in 1970. An unlikely pairing in the same vineyard, but the owners planted what they wanted to drink. Over the years, grapes went to Williams Selyem and Kosta Browne. Joe Anderson and Mary Dewane purchased the 55-acre ranch in 2002. Today, the vineyard is 6.5 acres planted with clones of unknown origin, possibly Pommard and Martini. In 2006, Benovia undertook an extensive pruning of the vineyard to reduce clusters and intensify flavors. · A remarkable wine offering alluring aromas of spicy, earthkissed red and black berries that intensify over time in the glass. Delicious essence of black raspberries and black cherries with exotic spice notes. Soft and silky in the mouth with a generous finish that is memorable for its length. A complete wine. Very good (+). Reviewed July 23, 2011 ARTICLE »

2009 Benovia Cohn Vineyard Sonoma County Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $62. · Medium reddish-purple color in the glass. The nose is enticing with bright aromas of exotic dark berries, spice and mild toasty oak. Moderately dense with a delicious core of dark plum and dark berry fruit which really impresses. A slight accent of cola and coffee is in the background. Silky in the mouth with supple tannins and impeccable balance. Much better the following day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle with luscious sweet fruit, less oak notes, and pleasing persistence on the back end. An old vine treasure. Very good. Reviewed January 11, 2012 ARTICLE »

2008 Benovia La Pommeriae Pinot Noir

A fall 2010 release and only bottled a few weeks prior so similar to a barrel sample. · Still in a little shock but man, this is great juice. Beautiful fruit core with a tangy citrus note on the fruit filled finish. Definitely look for this one upon release. Reviewed June 22, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 Benovia Sonoma Coast Chardonnay

14.2% alc., $32. · Light straw color in the glass. Bright aromas of baked apples, butterscotch and banana peel. Moderately light in style with mildly creamy flavors of green apples, white peaches, vanilla, caramel and brioche. Clean, sharp, focused. Good. Reviewed May 15, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Benovia Sonoma Mountain Chardonnay

125 cases, $35. From the Four Brothers Vineyard owned by Michael Sullivan and his brothers. Aged 14 months in 40% new French oak. · An upfront, charming wine with pleasing flavors of green apples, citrus fruits and baking spices. This was the first wine the group tasted upon arriving in the Russian River Valley, and they were stoked. Good. Reviewed June 22, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 Benovia Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

About 1,000 cases, $45. Sourced from several vineyards. · A standard bearer for the winery which needs more time to evolve. The potential is obvious. Good. Reviewed June 22, 2010 ARTICLE »

2008 Benovia Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 1,000 cases, $45. · Dark reddish-purple color in the glass. Deep aromas of black plums, black cherries, tar and mocha. Moderately rich and juicy flavors of cassis, black cherries and plum sauce with a subtle game and smoky note in the background. Nicely crafted in a fullon, fruit-driven style. Good. Reviewed April 11, 2011 ARTICLE »

2008 Benovia La Pommeriae Grass Valley Chardonnay

350 cases, $48. · A more serious wine from a vineyard planted on a former apple orchard farmed by George Martinelli. Bright and crisp with acidity of 3.25, this complex offering displays flavors of green apples, lemon curd, and minerality. Highly lauded by the wine press including myself. Very good. Reviewed June 22, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Benovia Cohn Vineyard Sonoma County Pinot Noir

A problematic vintage as a fire at the vineyard burned leaves and very little crop (0.38 tons per acre) ripened. · Moderately light garnet color. Alluring heady aromas of berry jam, spiced cherries, juicy fruit gum and a hint of oak. On the palate the flavors are exotic with slightly tart dark Pinot fruits, savory green herbs and a touch of sweet oak. Light on its feet with supple tannins and bright finishing acidity Score: 89. Reviewed October 3, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Benovia Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.3% alc., $45. Spring release (some availability in the retail market). · Bright, juicy and perfect for drinking now. Sublime melange of fresh-picked berries and cherries on the nose are echoed in the flavors. Slippery tannins and perky acidity makes this wine a perfect food partner. Score: 90. Reviewed October 3, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Benovia La Pommeraie Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., $48. This vineyard is owned and farmed by George Martinelli and was once an apple orchard. Planted to high density Dijon 95 and Old Wente clones. · The name, La Pommeraie, French for apple orchard, fits this wine perfectly. Redolent of fresh green apples on the nose and palate with a perfect touch of toasted oak and citrus. A dancing Chardonnay that is crisp and fresh, yet rich enough for hedonists. Reviewed September 5, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Benovia Savoy Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 352 cases, $55. Clones 113,115, Martini 13, Pommard and Calera. · This wine has the whole package. Bright aromas of black cherries, herbs and Provencal spice. Delicious core of cherries, raspberries and cranberries with a tasty touch of vanilla cream. Soft and sensual in the mouth with substantial but caressing tannins, a refreshing spark of acidity, and a ridiculously long aromatic finish. Still somewhat shy and will reward further patience. Plenty of Pinot singing. Score: 92. Reviewed October 3, 2009 ARTICLE »

2007 Benovia Savoy Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., $55. · Intensely fruity nose with scents of blackberries, raspberries, plums and a whiff of mocha. A seamless wine with an earth-kissed dark fruit core that is discreetly rich and crisp, leading to a smooth, long and satisfying finish. Even better and highly seductive the next day from a previously opened and re-corked bottle. If you drink now, decant. Reviewed January 22, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Benovia Savoy Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

200+ cases, $55. · Really drinking beautifully now after some time in the bottle. Displaying that wonderful Savoy earthiness with rich dark fruits and savory herbs. Delicious. Reviewed June 22, 2010 ARTICLE »

2007 Benovia Bella Luna Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 181 cases, $58. The name Bella means “beautiful together” and represents a special blend of several vineyards from the Russian River Valley. · Very charming nose of black raspberries, forest floor, wine cellar and a hint of smoke. Generous core of black cherries and black raspberries with a hint of citrus, framed by fine-grain tannins and offering a huge fruity finish. Still reserved and elusive, but approachable now. This one aims to please. Score: 90. Reviewed October 3, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Benovia Savoy Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc.. 25% whole cluster, aged 17 months in 40% new French oak barrels. · Moderately intense dark and savory berries which are delicious. Lovely perfume of earth-kissed dark stone fruits and berries with a rich and satiny mouth feel. Very good. Reviewed June 8, 2010 ARTICLE »

2006 Benovia Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., $45. It has been a couple of years of anticipation and Benovia has finally released this wine, its first Pinot Noir. Benovia has recently purchased two properties which will eventually increase the estate vineyards to 75 acres. The first is a 40-acre parcel adjacent to the winery property on the north side. New plantings of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir here will come into production in 2013. An old house on the property will be renovated to offer a reception center for wine tastings and dinners. The second property is a cool site for Pinot Noir located on Falstaff Road near Freestone, 3.5 miles north of the Petaluma wind gap. 12 acres of Pinot Noir will be planted and will come into production in 2013 as well. These new properties will allow Benovia to eventually reach 5.000 case production. In the Fall, a Cohn Vineyard Pinot Noir and Savoy Vineyard Pinot Noir will be released. I have tasted both of these a couple times out of barrel and the Savoy recently after bottling and can tell you these wines are gorgeous, sexy Pinot Noirs. The Benovia Chardonnay, Zinfandel and Rosé are outstanding wines in their own right. This is a cult producer in the making and I would advise you join the mailing list asap. · Plenty of berry, earth, game and shroom on the nose. Rich and ripe plum and blueberry flavors with hints of raisin, accented by toasty oak. The fruit driven finish is lengthy and tangy. Reviewed April 7, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 Benovia Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 950 cases, $45. A Spring 2008 release. · This wine has opened up quite a bit since last tasted. Pretty aromatics of fresh berries and floral notes. Well-structured and sinewy with earth-dusted dark berry and plum fruit flavors encased in supple tannins and finishing clean and bright. Reviewed November 17, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 Benovia Savoy Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.1% alc., 220 cases, $55. Rich Savoy has been farming this venerable vineyard for 20 years. This wine contains clones 113, 115, Calera, Martini 13 and Pommard. Each clone is vinified separately and only the best barrels are chosen for the final blend. · Fullbodied and darkly fruited, this wine charms with its vibrant black raspberry and black cherry core of flavors. Still a little closed and needs to shed some tannins, but the persistent aromatic finish of cherries, herbs, and new oak is memorable. Reviewed November 17, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 Benovia Winery Savoy Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

14.2% alc., 220 cases, $55. Rich Savoy has farmed this vineyard located west if Philo for 20 years. This wine is composed of multiple clones including Pommard, Calera, Martini 13 and Dijon 114 and 115, and is typically slow to come around. Each of the clones were vinified separately with only select barrels included in this bottling. · The nose is primal with oak char, dark berries, crusty toast and smoke surfacing. The wine possesses a solid dark berry core of fruit with plenty of oak char dominating the fruit at this stage. Silky in texture and nicely composed. Patience will be needed to fully appreciate this young wine which flashed a lot more fruit when newly crafted. Still fresh the next day from a previously opened re-corked bottle. Reviewed May 26, 2009 ARTICLE »

2006 Benovia Bella Una Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

14.5% alc., 168 cases, $58. This was known in the barrel as the “proprietary blend” which doesn’t sound too appealing. Benovia turned to their customers who came up with the name which means “beautiful together” in Latin. · Deep and darkly colored. Intoxicating and gorgeous aromas of rich black cherry jam and ripe plums. Would love to bottle this nose. Luscious dark-fruited core that is rich and plush and nicely spiced with soft tannins and a finish that gradually fades away with a smooth follow through like a Kobe Bryant jump shot. A complete wine that offers finesse with power. The Pinot Geek would drink this wine now while the 2006 Cohn and Savoy Benovia Pinot Noirs develop in the bottle. Reviewed November 17, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 Benovia Cohn Vineyard Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

$60. · The best Pinot yet from this vineyard made famous by Burt Williams of Williams Selyem and Michael Browne of Kosta Browne. A complete wine displaying power with elegance. Reviewed July 30, 2007 ARTICLE »

2006 Benovia Winery Savoy Vineyard Anderson Valley Pinot Noir

$60. I have tasted this wine several times both in barrel and in bottle and I can’t wait until August 19 when this and two other equally superb 2006 Pinot Noirs (Cohn Vineyard and a Proprietary Blend from purchased fruit) are released to the mailing list. · This wine is the whole package. Charmingly dark red fruited with nicely spiced aromatics, a full onslaught of fresh fruit, an appealing elegance, and an ending so refreshing that it makes you reach for more. I had to swallow this one. Reviewed July 7, 2008 ARTICLE »

2006 Benovia Cohn Vineyard Sonoma County Pinot Noir

14.4% alc., 220 cases, $62. At 34 years-old, 9-acre vineyard is one of the oldest in California. Previously, the vineyard supplied notable producers like Williams Selyem and Kosta Browne, but it now an estate property of Benovia. Yields in 2006 were 1.1 tons per acre. The clones are unknown and are planted on St. George rootstock. This wine is darkly colored. · Needs time to open up. Long and persistent scents of red and black cherries nicely spiced and accented by hints of smoke and white pepper. Juicy cherry and raspberry fruits fan out nicely on the palate with some minerality and tartness in the background, leaving a tangerine peel vibe on the lively finish. A Sarah Palin wine - slightly high-strung and vibrant. This wine will find fans. Reviewed November 17, 2008 ARTICLE »