In the fall of 2000 we purchased 20 tons of exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from a friend’s Napa Valley vineyard without a specific plan for the grapes. All we knew at the time was it was great fruit from a trusted friend. We asked our winemaker, Charles Hendricks, to have fun and do his thing.
Because the particular vineyard did not have a name, one of the cellar hands, who also works from time to time in the vineyards, chose to label the barrels ‘Twenty Bench’. The name was chosen to signify the 20 tons of fruit from the gentle rising bench land vineyard from which they were picked.
As vintners we had grown weary of the extreme “luxury” or “boutique” nature of marketing Napa Valley Cabernet. We longed for the days of a great bottle of wine at a fair price, plain and simple. Charles took us into the cellar and drew a barrel sample for us to try and we knew this was the Cabernet Sauvignon we had in mind.
It was then we noticed the name ‘Twenty Bench’ written in chalk on the side of the barrels: we raised our glasses in a toast to the cellar hand for giving us the perfect name.
The 2017 Twenty Bench Cabernet Sauvignon has a ripe black cherry core, twining with blackberry syrup, a subtle minerality, with the smokiness of charred French oak on the nose. The mouth is creamy and dense, with layered of juicy berries, the darkest of dark chocolates, rich espresso and black pepper. The wine is well-balanced and drinking well in its youth.
You can enjoy this singular wine on its own or with grilled meats, especially burgers.
- Composition: 90% Cabernet, 7% Merlot, 3% Malbec
- Appellation: North Coast (Napa Valley & Sonoma)
- Alcohol: 13.9%
- pH: 3.94
- TA: 4.5g/L
- RS: 4.10 g/L