2021 Benovia La Pommeraie Russian River Chardonnay
Mike Sullivan is a fifth-generation Californian who grew up in Sonoma County and started working at Chateau St. Jean at the age of 18. While pursuing his enology degree at Fresno State, Mike also spent his summers farming at Four Brothers, his family’s vineyard. Soon thereafter, Mike served as assistant winemaker under the legendary Helen Turley at Landmark Vineyards, and then at Chappellet. Mike garnered numerous honors—including recognition by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate as “Wine Personality of the Year”—as head winemaker at Hartford Family Winery before partnering with Proprietors Mary Dewane and Joe Anderson to found Benovia in 2005.
Located on the fringes of Green Valley in the Russian River AVA, the 2021 Benovia La Pommeraie Chardonnay showcases a pale crystalline appearance revealing the youthful, introverted personality of this wine. There are bright elements of freshly picked orchard fruits of white tangerines and Golden Delicious apples layered with sliced lemons, candied citrus and a hint of vanilla in the background. The interior of this wine is defined by its creamy richness and graceful mouth-feel that leads you to a refreshing, long lasting finish.
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