2020 Benovia Martaella Russian River Valley Chardonnay
A native of the Russian River Valley, co-owner Mike Sullivan is the winemaker, intellect and driving force behind this winery. After stints at Chateau St. Jean, Landmark and Chappellet wineries, Mike garnered honors for his achievements at Hartford Winery. With their first commercial release in 2006, Benovia excels in handcrafting small lots of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from 72 acres of prime vineyards. I’ve met with Mike on several occasions, and he is passionate and extremely focused on crafting impressive wines that represent a sense of place.
This 58-acre parcel of land consists of 42 acres of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in the Laguna de Santa Rosa neighborhood of the Russian River Valley. The climate is influenced by the cool winds from the Pacific Ocean and the sub-soils consist of volcanic and sedimentary soils.
The 2020 Benovia Martella Chardonnay showcases a true 'sense of place." This impressive bottling reveals a medium straw color with a bouquet of caramelized yellow citrus fruits and roasted hazelnuts. Inside is an abundance of fresh orchard apples layered with cinnamon, candied ginger and vanilla bean. Deep within is a creamy texture, a hint of minerality and complexity that makes you reminisce about the grand cru whites of Burgundy. As you sip this wine it seems to go directly to your soul. The finish is extremely long and persistent, lasting for several minutes. Congrats to Mike Sullivan and his winemaking team for this achievement.
By W Peter Hoyne