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While many wineries tout their most important ingredient as their terroir, their grapes, or their techniques, the word that’s used again and again at Benovia is fun. Sure, they expect a lot of themselves and strive to make excellent wine, but if there’s no fun to be had while doing it, what’s the point, right?

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Benovia 2013 Chardonnay

Grape(s): 100% Chardonnay

Region: Russian River Valley, California

Price: 30-35

Tasting Notes:

Aromas of peaches, pears, and apricots meld with suggestions of vanilla, spice, and citrus zest on the nose. A sip delivers flavors of ripe peach, crisp pear, and ripe apricot that flow into whispers of creamy oak, Asian spice, and orange rind. A Chardonnay with bright fruit and a welcoming acidity, open a bottle with some juicy pork chops. 1,580 cases produced.

Rating: 90

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Benovia 2013 Pinot Noir

Grape(s): 100% Pinot Noir

Region: Russian River Valley, California

Price: 35-40

Tasting Notes:

A bouquet of raspberries, boysenberries, clove, and earth rises up from a glass. The palate showcases flavors of black cherry and raspberry that flow into nuances of cola and spice. Inviting fruit and plush tannins endear this wine to roast duck. 2,200 cases were made.

Rating: 91

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Benovia 2013 “Martella” Pinot Noir

Grape(s): 100% Pinot Noir

Region: Russian River Valley, California

Price: 55-60

Tasting Notes:

Aromatics of strawberries, cherries, and raspberries come together with hints of clove, cola, and spice on the nose. With a sip, flavors of black cherry, strawberry, and raspberry flow into nuances of minerals, cola, and sweet spice. Offering elegant tannins and graceful flavors, its a Pinot that’s ideal to sip on its own. 446 cases produced.

Rating: 89

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Benovia 2013 “Tilton Hill” Pinot Noir

Grape(s): 100% Pinot Noir

Region: Sonoma Coast, California

Price: 55-60

Tasting Notes:

Fragrances of cherries, strawberries, plums, and cola greet the senses. Flavors of cherry, strawberry, and raspberry emerge on the palate alongside notes of cola, spice, and earth. Light and silky with refined tannins, match it up with grilled salmon. 492 cases were made.

Rating: 90