2015 Bench Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon

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The Background

Looked on my list of “Wines to Drink” for 2021 the other night and this bottle came up. I’ve never had Bench Vineyards and actually had to look up how and when this bottle was obtained. A friend had given it to me some 3 years ago and it had been resting comfortably in the cellar. Once that was resolved, I opened it up and was met with absolute delight in the aroma!

The Winery

Since they are new to me, I only gleamed a little off their website. The first thing that gets your attention is the Heron on the label. We have a lot of Blue Heron’s here in the local area and they are seen daily in their hunting / stalking mode. The owners state on their website that the Heron “is recognized in many cultures as a symbol of strength, purity, patience and long life. We craft our wines in the same spirit”.

Mike Smith and Bob Pepi are the winemakers alongside with the owners Allison Steltzner and Sam Sharp. Their stated goal is to make “vibrant terroir driven wines”. The name Circa Wines 64 is to honor Allison’s father, Dick who in 1964 purchase the property in Napa. Besides the 100% Cabernet Sauvignon from a single vineyard, they also make a red blend.

The Wine

On the eyes, a very deep red almost black coloring with heavy viscosity. On the nose the primary wafting aromas of dark cherry, raspberry and chocolate ricocheted off the senses. Once on the palate, plum combined with vanilla pipe tobacco swelled up in the mouth. These along with black licorice and dark roasted coffee provided a symphony in the mouth of immense proportions. The finish with oak, edgy tannins provided a long lasting and mouth filling experience.  The current release is 2018 and is listed for $150/bottle on their website.

I will need to look deeper into this “hidden gem” in the Spring Mountain AVA! That said, it is a beautiful wine for any special occasion.






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