2016 Bench Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon

Winery

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.

Wine

Though labeled with the Sonoma County appellation, this wine was sourced from the Totem Ridge Vineyard in the Knight’s Valley. Located much farther inland than any of Sonoma’s other AVAs, the Knight’s Valley offers an ideal climate for growing Cabernet Sauvignon. And the carefully laid-out blocks in volcanic soils make Totem Ridge Vineyard an attractive source of grapes for a number of producers. Starting with the deep purple color, the wine pleases with floral and spice notes and mouthwatering dark and red fruit. As with many of the Brack Mountain wines, it’s lower in alcohol than many a California Cab and will compliment a wide range of dishes.

Winemaking

After gentle destemming, the juice was transferred by gravity to stainless steel tanks for fermentation and maceration that extended six weeks. The wine aged in 80% new French oak for 16 months.

Tasting notes

Aromas of ripe black plums are complimented by notes of violets and graphite. The firm structure with elegant tannins and fresh acidity gets balanced by dark fruit flavors leading to cocoa, mint and anise on the finish. 

Appellation

Sonoma County

Varietal

87% Cabernet Sauvignon, 8% Petit Verdot, 5% Cabernet Franc

Size

750ml

Closure

Cork

Alcohol

13.7%

UPC

793573135445