Wine Reviews

Ratings Explained

84 & Below – Not Posted ‘cause we won’t drink it
85 + A good wine. Buy if the price is right
90 + A very good wine, in our humble opinion
95 + An awe inspiring wine – Possibly life altering

All wine reviews are based solely on the personal tastes of the authors.
Disclosure: Samples are designated by an “S” beside the wine reviewed.
We’re still objective. Robert Parker doesn’t buy his wines either

Dec 032010

Do you remember the old 7-UP ads from 1975 for the UnCola? If Napa wineries are best regarded for their cabernets, then Benessere is the Un-Cabernet; specializing in Italian varietals.

I have to say that when these winery samples arrived at my office I wasn’t jumping around with excitement. My past experience with Italian wines has been uneventful, at best. I know many of you love them but until I tasted these wines from Benessere I was not on the bandwagon. While I may not bang a drum for Italian wines as a whole, I will bang a gong for these beauties. Continue reading »

Dec 032010
 2008 “Frizzante” $18 (S) — Rating 90

Slightly sweet with a light effervescence. A Gold Medal winner in San Francisco Wine Competition, 2010, this wine pairs nicely with a salad, light appetizers and Asian food. Also enjoy it after dinner when something “just a little sweet” is what you crave.

Nov 222010
2007 – Napa Valley, CA $32 (S) — Rating 90

A beautiful example of a California Sangiovese. Estate grown and hand pressed, the wine is a real standout. Made to pair with rustic Italian cooking.

Nov 222010
2007 – Napa Valley, CA $50 (S) — Rating 88

A very small production (98 cases) of this red dark-skinned Italian variety traditionally grown in the Campania region around Naples. I really had no idea to expect from this wine but enjoyed it very much. The dark fruit flavors stood well on their own but also paired very well with fire roasted tomato sauce over pasta.

Nov 132010
2006 – Napa Valley, CA – $60 (S) — Rating 95

Benessere calls this blend of Cabernet, Sangiovese, Merlot and Syrah a Super-Napan because the blend is similar to an Italian Super-Tuscan. I call Phenomenon…PHENOMENAL! (all puns intended) I was blown away by this creative blend. Expect rich flavors of dark ripe cherry, a touch of smokey oak, plum and worn saddle leather. Grab a bottle for a cold night and snuggle up with your honey.