2007 Benovia "Bella Una" Russian River Valley Pinot Noir

SKU #1153662 93 points Wine & Spirits

 Blended from Dutton Manzana Vineyard and Martinelli Vineyards, Bella Una is a rich and supple wine. Its dark fruit flavors shade from black cherry to bluefoot mushroom, lasting with a deep intensity. This is finely made, balanced and long, with oak adding to the umami tension of the wine. The savory mushroom character places it with braised short ribs.  (4/2010)

93 points Wine Enthusiast

 ** Cellar Selection ** You’ll want to age this Pinot because as currently constructed it’s marked by youthful tannins and acids, as well as primary fruit flavors that have not meshed with the new oak. It’s all over the place, with lavish raspberries, cherries, vanilla, sandalwood, Dr. Pepper cola and exotic spices all vying for first place. Give it until 2011 to begin to come together.  (12/2011)

91 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 From two vineyard sources in the Russian River, the 2007 Pinot Noir Bella Una exhibits a darker, blacker fruit character than the other Pinots as well as full-bodied power, and lots of forest floor, blackberry, and black currant notes. Refreshing acidity, silky tannin, outstanding purity and length, and a full-bodied, opulent mouthfeel suggest this wine should evolve for a decade or more.  (2/2010)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Fragrant, delicate, spicy and structured, this full-bodied Pinot shows spice, plum, black cherry, wild berry and floral scents, gaining richness and depth on the finish. Drink now through 2016.  (4/2010)

Connoisseurs Guide

 This nicely layered offering shows the winery's signature traits of keen focus and restraint once again, and its mix of deep fruit, caramel and sweet spice comes without the least impression of excess. It is more firm than fat and wants for a bit of age before opening, and, as nice as it is now, it will only get better after a few years have passed.  (10/2009)

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Price: $44.99

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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.

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.


- 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.
Specific Appellation:

Alexander Valley/Russian River

- Among Sonoma County's northernmost appellations, the Alexander Valley AVA acts as a gateway to neighboring Napa to the east and Mendocino to the north. It is a sprawling appellation, with pockets of distinct microclimates and soils, and as such, is home to a variety of wine grapes and styles. Nearly everything grows in the Alexander Valley, though Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay are the most widely planted grapes. The Russian River Valley lies to the south of Alexander Valley, and is marked by much cooler temperatures and frequently heavy fog. The Chardonnay and Pinot Noir grown here are some of the state's finest and most sought-after. Aromatic whites like Gewürztraminer and Riesling can also be successful, and sparkling wine production has a long history in the area.