Bench

Making Artisanal Wines Accessible to All

Founded in 2008 and located in Sebastopol, Sonoma County, the Brack Mountain Wine Company takes an approach to making and marketing wine they believe is more in tune with the 21st century. It operates neither as a “chateau” (no iconic buildings, sprawling estate vineyards, gardens, or caves) nor as a “negociant” bottler of bulk wine. Instead, the company focuses its attention entirely on the craft of producing fine wine. This begins with establishing long-term relationships with growers who farm vineyards sustainably. Whereas Brack Mountain does own a small property in the Dry Creek Valley, most of their production is sourced from excellent vineyards throughout Sonoma County as well as Napa, Mendocino and the Central Coast. BMWC produces a wide range of wines, including appellation and single-vineyard bottlings, varietal wines and blends, coastal Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays, Sonoma and Napa Cabs, old-vine Zins and even such obscure varietals as Pinot Gris, Verdelho, and Charbono. Rather than bottle the whole gamut of styles and AVAs under one label, BMWC sells them under 17 different brand names - each with a unique and eye-catching label. In this way, wines from different subregions or in different price categories are given a unique identity, and the company has more versatility in targeting different markets, such as restaurants, wine bars, connoisseurs or millennials. Despite the variety, one thing remains constant: winemaking. All the wines are produced in small lots and in a style that emphasizes freshness, balance, age worthiness, and moderate levels of alcohol. Avoiding many of the costs of running a traditional winery, BMWC can afford to use such artisanal methods as natural yeast fermentations and French oak aging with even its most value-oriented labels.                                                                                                                                                                                Bench offers wines sourced from benchland vineyards planted along the rise between a valley floor and rocky slopes. These vineyards produce wines with character and structure. Bench label wines are AVA-designated, focussing on specific subregions within Sonoma County, such as the Russian River Valley and the Alexander Valley. These wines are sourced from carefully-selected and sustainably-farmed vineyards. BMWC’s most popular label, Bench offers elegant, modern and approachable wines at affordable prices.

Wines from this Winery

2014 Bench Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

2014 Bench Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

Vibrant aromatics and intense flavors characterize this Pinot Noir of the cool Sonoma Coast. It was sourced primarily from the Sangiacomo Amaral Vineyard on the Sonoma side of Carneros with a small amount from the Russian River Valley for additional depth and structure.  In 2014, excellent summertime conditions encouraged the vines to develop ripeness and concentration of flavor. Gentle handling in the winery, such as frequent manual punchdowns instead of pumpovers during the maceration, brought out the dark color without extracting excessive tannins or bitterness. Racking the wine to barrel just before fermentation finished preserved the structured core of dark fruit. The affordable price makes this high-class Pinot easy to open as well as to drink! Try it with grilled vegetables, chicken or fish.

Details
¥ 3,300
2014 Bench Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

2014 Bench Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

If high alcohol and dense, overripe fruit has turned you off California Cabernet, Bench’s Cabs will come as a pleasant surprise. More restrained, with only 13.8%  alcohol, it’s fresh and vibrant with black and red fruit flavors and floral and spice aromas. It’s a California Cab that won’t overpower leaner meats, pastas or vegetarian dishes. Located well inland and protected from the Pacific Ocean influence, the Knight’s Valley has Sonoma County’s most ideal climate for growing the Bordeaux grape varieties. This wine was sourced from a single mountain vineyard with blocks at varying elevations and with multiple exposures. The dry conditions in 2014 led to an early harvest but also lower yields of grapes with tight bunches and small berries. Gentle handling throughout the winemaking process produced an elegant wine with compelling floral notes, juicy red and black currant flavors and a finish that leaves you wanting another sip.

Details
¥ 3,300
2015 Bench Russian River Valley Chardonnay

2015 Bench Russian River Valley Chardonnay

Tasteful and elegant, Bench Chardonnay offers a pure and honest expression of the Russian River Valley at an affordable price. Located in the Russian River Valley, the Louvau and Bazzano vineyards used as the source for this wine were planted in the 1970s. Even though less was understood in those days about matching clones to vineyard sites, these vines consistently produce grapes with excellent fruit, acidity and minerality. After the third winter in a row with low rainfall, the 2015 harvest was noted for low yields and early ripening - as well as grapes with excellent concentration of flavor. Fermented and aged only partially in oak, Bench Chardonnay is made in a crisp, approachable style that emphasizes the purity, natural acidity and minerality of the fruit. It would pair well with seared scallops or grilled sea bass.

Details
¥ 3,500