2012 Benessere Vineyards Sangiovese


Last summer we registered for  the Napa Valley Auction to participate in potential bid opportunities.  From the Napa Valley Auction website:

Where wine lover and winemaker meet at the source of America’s legendary wines to partake in and celebrate the best Napa Valley has to offer.

Insider’s access to the cool cellars and warm hospitality of renowned Napa Valley vintners. Your choice of dozens of parties, ranging from blue-jeans casual to wear-your-finest formal, each hosted by the people behind some of the world’s most recognized wines. More than 250 auction lots, yours for the bidding – from a single case of wine to trips offering experiences not available anywhere else. Return home with memories to last a lifetime and perhaps bragging rights to some amazing wines.

Proceeds from this weekend support community health and children’s education. To date, Auction Napa Valley has invested more than $120 million in dozens of these organizations.

I reviewed the possible bid opportunities and came across lot 472, which I thought would be fun from Benessere Vineyards.  The bid detailed:

A “Phenomenal” Week in Wine Country

• 10 bottles of Napa Valley wine, as noted
• Week in Wine Country for 10 adults
• Blending session for 10

In celebration of the 20th Anniversary of Benessere Vineyards, the Benish family has assembled a memorable Wine Country week for up to ten adults.

Lodging is provided with a six night/seven-day stay in our four-bedroom, four-bath country home that features a full kitchen (stocked with Benessere wines of multiple vintages, of course!), outdoor fireplace, tennis court and much more.

You and your guests will enjoy gorgeous views of the surrounding vineyards and hillsides from the wrap-around porch.

During your stay, winemaker Matt Reid will lead the group in a blending session of your own 2013 version of our flagship Tuscan red blend, “Phenomenon.” As a memento of your stay, each guest will take home a bottle of your unique blend!

To be scheduled on a mutually agreed upon date between June 2014 and May 2015.

I talked with our friend Ralph and we decided to start bidding on the package.  Since we were planning another trip to Napa in 2015, we figured if we won the bid we could bring some additional friends with.  The bid period was multiple days that ended on a Sunday.  Our strategy was not to bid continuously, but to enter a bid at the end of each day.  There were many bidders and the bidding started and stopped throughout the day.  We could see there were two contenders for this package including us.  The bidding ended on Sunday June 8th; whereas we did not win the bid.  The winning bid was $8,150.00, Ralph and I felt that was too high.

A few months after the Napa Valley Auction was over I received a letter in the mail from Benessere thanking me for the support while offering us a free cheese and wine pairing and tasting.  Chris and I were scheduled for Napa in October so I scheduled the tasting with Alex; the Manager of Sales and Hospitality.  As Alex and I communicated he also mentioned a harvest party that was to be held the same weekend that we would be in Napa.

We arrived at Benessere for our tasting and enjoyed it.  Their wines are great and affordable.  Towards the end of the tasting Alex again asked if we would like to attend the harvest party and we decided to join.  The grape stomp and the entire party was a blast.

During the stomp portion of the party there were three teams (red, white, blue) of ten.  We and two other friends were a part of the white team who won the stomp by half of a pound.  There were 10 participants on each team and each player of us was given a three pack of wines!  We received a Pinot Grigio, Sangiovese, and a Zinfandel.

Medium color depth, ruby hue.


The Sangiovese was very aromatic.  Development was young-fruity with aromas of red cherry, red current, vanilla.

Dry, medium-bodied with balanced acidity.  Rich mid-palate flavors with a savory long finish.

abv: 13.5%

How much: $35.00 on the website.

Region/appellation: St Helena

I rated the  2012 Benessere Vineyards Sangiovese three glasses.

Life is too short to drink crappy wine!

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