Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine Rates the 2009 Vintage Fall Release
92 Points | 2009 Pinot Noir Savoy
Vineyard, Anderson Valley
"Here is a Pinot that hits all the right marks from fruity focus
and balance to richness and range. It leads with deep,
well-extracted aromas of dark cherries, dusty earth spice, sweet
oak and dried violets, and its layered flavors follow suit. While
it is impressively stuffed, it is always well-structured, and its
firm, lightly tannic, long-lasting finish is the mark of a Pinot
that is destined to age famously. While we recommend that it be set
aside for a couple of years at the least, we would not be surprised
if it improves for a half-dozen or more."
92 Points | 2009 Pinot Noir Bella
Una®, Russian River Valley
"Optimally ripened cherry-like fruit again sits at the heart of
this bottling, yet the wine is ever so slightly brighter and a just
a bit fresher than it mates with a little more acidy firmness
apparent just now. There is more than enough richness and juice at
work to comfortably predict that it will age very well, and its
teasing glimpses of minerals and dried-flower complexity guarantee
that time will bring more interest yet."
91 Points | 2009 Pinot Noir, Sonoma Coast
"It may be the lowest priced of the Benovia bunch, but this
rich, deeply fruited Pinot is a resounding success all the same.
Both its ripe, well-concentrated, cherry-and-toast aromas and its
solid, substantial flavors are long on defined varietal character,
and, if always a fairly mouthfilling wine, it is buoyed by plenty
of well-placed acidity. It will drink nicely with richer foods in
the near term, but it too has the potential to improve with a few
years in the cellar."
90 Points | 2009 Pinot Noir Cohn
Vineyard, Sonoma County
"Ripe, lightly toasty and faintly suggestive of a touch of
tea-leaf in the nose, this well-made Pinot Noir conveys plenty of
richness while showing a real sense of nuance as well. It is
moderately full-bodied and slightly supple in feel with a fine
spine of neatly placed acidity lending structure and brightness. It
suffers from a bit of youthful angularity at the finish, but it is
a wine that will grow and round into shape nicely if allowed to
rest for a few years in the cellar."
89 Points | 2009 Pinot Noir, Russian River
"Another solid success from Benovia in 2009, this offering is
only slightly off the pace set by the winery's best efforts insofar
that it is slightly more direct and a bit less complex with not
quite as much layering or nuance. It is, however, a polished,
well-crafted wine that goes right to the varietal point, and its
minimal tannin and comparatively open manner tag it as a very fine
choice for drinking in the shorter term."
88 Points | 2009 Pinot Noir, La Pommeraie,
"A heftier, somewhat more muscular take on Pinot than any of its
cellarmates, Benovia's 2009 La Pommeraie is a wine of real
concentration and no small measure of extracted fruit, but it is
also less polished and is compromised at the moment by a few
youthful angles and edges. It ends on a note of peppery heat, and
it may never achieve the same sense of elegance of its kin, but is
deserves a few years patience nonetheless and will please fans of
slightly sturdier Pinots."
88 Points | 2009 Chardonnay, La Pommeraie,
"Ripe and yet slight tight at the same time, this wine turns to
oak and buttery tones for aromatic depth, and its stony, green
apple fruit always stays somewhat in deep support. Whether it will
come out in time or not, the wine is balanced and moderately rich
in a way that will make very useful drinking up now with grilled
fish but also invites a bit of age."
- Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wine • October