2013 Bench Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir

SKU #1181701 91 points Wine Enthusiast

 *Editors' Choice" Sourced from two vineyards, including Sangiacomo Amaral Ranch, a cool site near the bay, this is a tremendous offering for the price. The wine is light, bright and brambly in raspberry and cherry kirsch, with a mischievous streak of cola. Pretty and fresh, it finishes in a tease of black tea.  (5/2016)

K&L Notes

Bench is one of the labels of Brack Mountain Wine Company, which sources this Pinot Noir mostly from the renowned Sangiacomo vineyard in the Sonoma Coast AVA. From the winery: "Deep ruby purple in color, this wine offers intense, dark forest fruit and notes of plum on the nose. The palate is tightly focused with bright currant, cola and cedar. The mouthful is supple with well integrated tannins that provide the integrity for this noteworthy wine."

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By: Mari Keilman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 12/31/2015 | Send Email
When it comes to value-driven California Pinot Noirs, I tend to gravitate towards Sonoma Valley due to the site-driven presence of spice and earth that comes from the cooler climate and soil conditions. The aromatics of the 2010 Bench is full of vanilla, followed up by copious amounts of black and red cherry. Topped off with a palate that is much more lifted and brighter than expected, you have a supple, glycerol California Pinot at an ridiculously amazing value.

By: Dulcinea Gonzalez | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/29/2015 | Send Email
Crowd pleasers aren't always the easiest to find when it comes to Pinot Noir, and this one comes at only $20 a pop! Mixing dark cherry notes with a hint of spice and cedar, this wine provides plenty of luscious and juicy moments without being overbearing. This is pitch perfect for casual dinner parties and get-togethers. Pour and enjoy!

By: Jeff Garneau | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 11/29/2015 | Send Email
Consistently one of our best values in California Pinot Noir. From the Sonoma Coast. Plenty of dark fruit here. Lovely weight and character. Superb.

By: Daniel Maas | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/9/2015 | Send Email
Surprisingly complex for a Sonoma Pinot at this price, the 2013 Bench is a lovely, medium bodied example of balanced, new world style wine. As cherry and raspberry jump out of the glass and into your nose, your mouth is assaulted with elegant layers of vanilla, orange, and incredibly soft tannins. I love it!

By: Scott Beckerley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/17/2015 | Send Email
Bench continues their run of winning Pinot Noir with this effort from the 2013 vintage. It is highlighted by deep, dark red fruits, raspberry notes and a hint of earth on the back of the palate. Mellow oak and tart raspberries on the finish round out the overall character. Delicious!

By: Christie Brunick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/8/2015 | Send Email
A very classicly styled Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. Juicy and rich on the palate, with silky and seamless texture. Lots of black cherry and red fruit notes. Always a go to!

By: Randy Hagerman | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 5/23/2015 | Send Email
This is a Pinot that keeps the phrase "over-deliver" from becoming a cliche. There is ripe plum and black cherries on the palate, followed by just a hint of spice. The acidity makes for a mouth-watering finish. This drinks like a wine nearly double in price.

By: Michael Jordan | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 4/28/2015 | Send Email
Twenty dollar Pinot Noir aren't the easiest thing to find these days. With grape prices going higher and higher, Pinot Noir finds itself in the $30-$35 range in many cases. The folks at Brack Mountain continually over-deliver on the Pinot Noir. Bright red fruits, lovely integration of spice, orange peel, vanilla and forest floor. A wine that over-delivers at $20.00.

By: Jim Boyce | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 3/2/2015 | Send Email
It's back! The Bench has been a customer favorite over the last couple vintages. Getting great Sonoma fruit at a $20 price tag is tough to do, and this Pinot really delivers. Pure red fruit, cola notes, some baking spice and a well integrated French Oak finish.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Pinot Noir

- One of France's most legendary grapes and the grape that earned Burgundy its reputation. The parent of varietals like Pinot Gris/Grigio and Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir is blue to violet to indigo in color with relatively thin skins, and it is said to have been cultivated in France for more than 2,000 years. At its best, Pinot Noir creates elegant wines that are filled with primary red fruit aromas and flavors while young, revealing with an array of secondary characteristics like earth, smoke, violet, truffle and game with age. The varietal is also known, perhaps better than any, for its ability to translate terroir, or a sense of place. While the best Pinot Noir still comes from Burgundy, it is being produced with increasing success in cooler climates around the world. In France, it is part of the trifecta of grapes that can go into Champagne, and it is also grown in Alsace, Irancy, Jura, Savoie, Lorraine and Sancerre. Outside of France it is produced under the names Pinot Nero and Blauburgunder in Italy's mountainous regions, as Spätburgunder in Germany and as Blauburgunder in Austria. In the US, Pinot Noir has found suitable growing conditions in the cooler parts of California, including Carneros, the Russian River Valley, the Anderson Valley, the Sonoma Coast, Monterey County, the Santa Lucia Highlands and Santa Barbara County, as well as in Oregon's Willamette Valley. In recent years, New Zealand has demonstrated its ability to interpret this hard-to-grow varietal, with successful bottlings coming from careful and attentive growers in Central Otago, Martinborough and Canterbury. Chile is also an up-and-coming region for Pinot Noir, creating fresh, fruit-forward, early-drinking and affordable Pinots from the coastal Casablanca Valley and the Limari Valley.
Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.
Sub-Region:

California

- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).
Alcohol Content (%): 13.9