Sample

    • 2012 50 Harvests Meritage

      I'm always honored at the opportunity to taste small production wines. I tried the 2011 50 Harvests Cabernet Sauvignon in March, a Napa wine designed to celebrate 50 years in the California wine business. That link will tell you a lot of this family's history and how they got into the winemaking business.

      Ben Carter/ Benito's Wine Reviewsin Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot Malbec- 4 readers -
    • 2012 M. Chapoutier Banyuls

      Sometimes a sample has to sit around for the right moment. Banyuls is not well known in the United States. It's a fortified dessert wine similar to Port that's made in the south of France. It pairs beautifully with dark chocolate and is the kind of thing that you'd love to sip on around a fire in the winter.

      Ben Carter/ Benito's Wine Reviews- 3 readers -
    • 50 Harvests Followup

      I wanted to do a followup to my previous post on the 2012 Scotto Celllars 50 Harvests Meritage based on a surprise that showed up today. I love being a wine writer and there are a lot of perks to the job, both here and in the world of freelancing. There are times when it is stressful and I generally keep those concerns private with fellow writers, because it sounds like whining ...

      Ben Carter/ Benito's Wine Reviews- 3 readers -
  • 2012 Collazzi Libertà & 2009 Cune Rioja Reserva

    … profile, smooth body with mild tannins. Delightful balance and an elegant finish. Rioja remains an outstanding bargain across many producers and you'll see what wonders a mere five years of aging is able to accomplish with these grapes. Serve with a thick, medium-rare roasted pork chop that is heavily marbled and you'll never forget the meal. Note: These wines were provided as samples for review.…

    Ben Carter/ Benito's Wine Reviewsin Syrah Merlot- 1 readers -
  • 2012 Gnarly Head Authentic Black

    … range of styles but distinctive for being noticeably darker than your average Merlot. 2012 Gnarly Head Authentic Black Lodi, California Proprietary blend dominated by Petite Sirah $12, 14.5% abv. The wine has a bold profile of blackberry and chocolate, though it is not particularly tannic thanks to 12 months of oak aging and a little decanting ahead…

    Ben Carter/ Benito's Wine Reviewsin Cabernet Franc Pinot Noir Merlot- 1 readers -
  • Leaf Vodka

    … them. The green bottle is made using Alaskan glacier water, while the blue bottle comes from a Rocky Mountain mineral spring. The Alaskan is sweeter with a touch of citrus, and more of a pronounced grain aroma. The Rocky Mountain version has a darker, more stony and drier profile that reminds me of great Austrian Grüner Veltliner. Both are quite smooth, however I fear that the subtleties will be lost in cocktails. But for the price, these are both fantastic bargains. Note: These bottles were provided as samples for review.…

    Ben Carter/ Benito's Wine Reviews- 4 readers -
  • Touring Lodi's Bechthold Vineyard with Microsoft Sway

    … a Sway about the Bechthold Vineyard in Lodi, California. I have lots of pictures that I'd not previously used, and thought that this was a fun way to present them. Bechthold was my first stop on my press tour earlier in the year, and recently we had an online tasting featuring four wines from that small patch of land: You can also click on this link for the full screen experience: A Sway About the Bechthold Vineyard in Lodi Note: These wines were provided as samples for review. …

    Ben Carter/ Benito's Wine Reviews- 8 readers -
  • 2012 Edna Valley Vineyard Chardonnay

    … Chardonnay Central Coast, California 100% Chardonnay $15, 13.9% abv. Buttery with a touch of caramel and vanilla on the nose. On the palate it is mild with gentle white peach flavors. Classic California Chardonnay profile. A perfect match with the lunchtime meal and a wine substantial enough to stand up to the bold flavors of the soup. Note: This wine was provided as a sample for review. …

    Ben Carter/ Benito's Wine Reviewsin Chardonnay- 1 readers -
  • Pink Bordeaux

    … As summer draws to a close and colder weather approaches, it was a pleasure to sample a pair of Bordelais rosés on a warm Sunday afternoon. Bordeaux gets so much attention for its red wines that it is often easy to overlook the white, pink, and sparkling wines from the region. Here is a quick look at two bottles to try before the sun disappears…

    Ben Carter/ Benito's Wine Reviewsin Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot- 3 readers -
  • Fall Wines of Germany

    … Time once again for the quarterly delivery of two bottles from Wines of Germany. Over the years I've really enjoyed their sample system: always two bottles, one sweet, one dry, yet always demonstrating the impressive diversity that comes out of Germany with just a handful of white grapes. The holidays are approaching, and low alcohol Riesling…

    Ben Carter/ Benito's Wine Reviewsin Riesling- 4 readers -
  • 2013 Line 39 Sauvignon Blanc

    …, 13.1% abv. This Sauvignon Blanc opens up with aromas of grapefruit pith and lime peel. Tart and crisp with a quick and tangy finish. Perfect with a smoked chicken salad full of grapes and diced apples. Note: This wine was provided as a sample for review. …

    Ben Carter/ Benito's Wine Reviewsin Sauvignon Blanc- 1 readers -
  • Five Wines from Coppola

    … Monterey County, California 55% Syrah, 35% Pinot Noir, 10% Grenache $19, 12.5% abv. A favorite of mine, and one that I love to give as a gift. Light strawberry flavors with bright acidity and a generally fun wine. Adaptable to a wide range of foods. 2012 Francis Coppola Director's Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast, California 100% Pinot Noir $21, 13.5% abv. Very light garnet color, delicate wild strawberry aromas, mild acidity, low tannins, long finish. Note: These wines were provided as samples for review. …

  • Spell Winery Pinot Noir

    … Alder Springs Vineyard Pinot Noir Mendocino County 100% Pinot Noir 149 Cases Produced $50, 14.2% abv. Really bold dark fruit with a firm body, one that benefits from an hour of decanting. Touches of tobacco and coffee are quite enchanting. 2012 Spell Terra de Promissio Vineyard Sonoma Coast 100% Pinot Noir 148 Cases Produced $72, 14.3% abv. Rich and deep with a profile of berries backed up by hints of spice. Incredibly smooth and perfectly balanced. Highly recommended. Note: These wines were provided as samples for review. …

    Ben Carter/ Benito's Wine Reviewsin Pinot Noir Chardonnay- 6 readers -
  • Hourglass Tasting

    … Napa Valley/Calistoga 83% Cabernet Franc, 11% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Petit Verdot $135/750ml bottle The price might seem high for a Cabernet Franc but it will show you just how expressive this tiny grape can be. It is rich and dark with a pronounced cassis flavor. A sniff yields touches of black pepper, chocolate, and leather. The tannins are firm but not overbearing and again, it is one that will only improve with proper aging. Highly recommended. Note: These wines were provided as samples for review. …

  • Kaiken Wines of Argentina

    …% Malbec, 4% Cabernet Sauvignon $22, 14.8% abv. Black cherry, leather, coffee, medium tannins, long finish. The more serious of the two, I'd save this for the more tender rare cuts of beef. It is still strong enough that flavorful seasonings and smoke will not cancel out the great elements of the wine. Note: These wines were provided as samples for review. …

    Ben Carter/ Benito's Wine Reviewsin Cabernet Sauvignon Malbec- 6 readers -
  • Josh Cellars Wines & Contest for First Responders

    …. Perfect with a smoked turkey and avocado sandwich. 2012 Josh Cellars Pinot Noir California 100% Pinot Noir $17, 13.5% abv. This Pinot Noir shows notes of plum and leather. On the palate there are medium tannins and a long finish. As it is still relatively young, I'd suggest decanting for an hour before serving with grilled steaks or roast lamb. Note: These wines were provided as samples for review. …

    Ben Carter/ Benito's Wine Reviewsin Pinot Noir Sauvignon Blanc- 6 readers -