2017 Benton Lane Pinot Noir
2017 Benton Lane Pinot Noir This 2017 wine opens with aromas of perfume and bright red fruits like cherries and cranberries with subtle notes of cinnamon red hots. The wine has a nice acidic balance and it exhibits bright red fruits of cherry and cranberry. It finishes with a hint of pepper along with toasty barrel notes.
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Our Oregon Pinot Noir offers lately have been some of the best we have ever seen, and many of you reading this have jumped all over them. From Colene Clemens, to Gran Moraine, to Domaine Romanee Conti’s “Composition” which sold out overnight. Today’s offer is another showstopper. Oregon is having another wave of success with the 2017 vintage, just recently covered and reviewed by Wine Spectator this past March. Press is huge and demand is higher than ever. Benton Lane 2017 Pinot Noir is one of the top values of the vintage, and if you love Pinot Noir, regardless of region, you must try this.
Benton-Lane Winery founders Steve and Carol Girard grew up in California’s Bay Area, both raised by parents who loved wine. Steve and Carol are high school sweethearts and shared their passion for wine, even while Steve served in the U.S. Navy. Steve and Carol later began their journey as a married couple in Napa Valley where they learned how to care for vineyards, make fine wine and founded their first winery, the famous Girard Winery together. Girard is one of Napa’s great houses and they make to date one of the most consistent, undervalued Napa Cabs out there. Girard Winery produced sought-after wines that were enjoyed at state dinners and taken by presidents to heads of state as gifts. Julia Child even selected the winery for one of her events.
It was Carol who first fell for the amazing Pinot Noir grape. She would tempt Steve with tastes of early Oregon Pinots when they attended tastings. As Carol says, “Pinot Noir is a varietal that can get under your skin. It can seduce you.” Steve soon fell for Pinot Noir as well, but the couple realized that their home state California was not the best place to produce the thin skinned grape. This began their journey to find the perfect location for a Pinot Noir vineyard. They spent five years searching the planet including France, the central California coast and even Tasmania. They eventually settled on a gorgeous piece of land with high volcanic soil, on the border of Benton County and Lane County, naming it Benton Lane. Our customers have loved previous vintages of this wine, so when we were able to secure what is one of the best vintages in Oregon’s history, we jumped all over it. Fresh, supple, aromatic, a gorgeous marriage of fruit and oak. This is one of my favorite Oregon values of the year.
When Benton-Lane founders Steve and Carol saw the vineyard for the first time, they thought they had won the lottery–it was perfect, especially for Pinot Noir.
The vineyard was a historic, beautiful sheep ranch called Sunnymount. They learned that this name came about over 100 years ago due to Prairie Peak to the west that protected the ranch from winter storms. This mountain carves the rain clouds, sending them north and south while the ranch bathes in sun. Exposure to sun produces wine with full flavor.
The Benton-Lane vineyard is nestled in the middle of a peninsula-like outcropping of the Coastal Mountain Range on a gentle southeast slope. This aspect allows the vines to receive both the benefit of early morning sun and full exposure throughout the day. The vineyard also rests high enough so the cold night air drains down to the valley floor, which helps the vines escape harmful frosts. The vines are above the valley fog-line yet low enough to escape the strong winds at the top, both of which would adversely affect grape quality. The volcanic soils are brick red due to their high iron content and are deep and well drained, ensuring active and healthy root systems.