Benessere Vineyards

2006 BK Collins Old Vine Zinfandel

Zinfandel •BK Collins Old Vine

California: Napa Valley

Offer Expired:Nov 04, 2010 at 11:59 pm
Avg. Price

What We Say


We are pleased, today, to be the only wine merchant to be showcasing this exceptional Zinfandel from our friends at Benessere Vineyards. How do we do it? Well, we could tell you, but…


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Mission Codename: Si, Georgio!

Operative: Agent Red

Objective: Infiltrate Benessere Vineyarrds and secure their single vineyard Zinfandel for our Operatives around the world

Mission Status: Accomplished!

Current Winery: Benessere Vineyarrds

Wine Subject: 2006 BK Collins Old Vine Zinfandel

Winemaker: Jack Stuart

Backgrounder: Zinfandel is related to the Italian Primitivo grape, tracing its origin to the Croatian grape Crljenak Kastelanski. Zinfandel is one of the most versatile varietals with the ability to make wines, both rich to fruity, dark to light, and dry to sweet. Napa Valley Zinfandels, which are characterized by their bold flavors and full mouthfeel are very popular with our Operatives. Read Agent Red’s tasting notes and mission report below.

Wine Spies Tasting Profile:

Look – Bright deep ruby red, reminding us of the color of cherry Jell-O. At its core, the wine shows deeper garnet hues through its slightly more dense core and out along the edges. On swirling the wine, the wine shows a tight surface that settles quickly. When it settles, it leaves behind tall, skinny legs.

Smell – This wine leads with bright aromas of ripe cherry, black cherry, dark raspberry and soft plum layered over floral violet notes and a touch of bramble wood, soft cedar, earth and herbs.

Feel – Smooth and dry, medium-to-full bodied with racy acidity and youthful tannins. A hint of minerality adds a crushed velvet feel at the tail end.

Taste – Loads of red fruit including raspberry and strawberry, jammy plum, blackberry and dark-smoked blueberry, with a solid and relatively complex base of pepper, oak and the bramble notes found on the nose.

Finish – Clean and medium in length with a slightly bitter and tart fruit component and a dark lingering for a long while.

Conclusion – This bold, bright and delicious Napa Zin is a treat for all of the senses. With bold black fruit and red fruit, and earthy notes of wood, spice and herbs, the wine presents a well-rounded taste profile. We found ourselves simply swirling and inhaling this wine for a long time before we ever even tasted it. We really enjoy when a wine smells so good as to inspire this sort of extended sniffing. When you do finally put glass to mouth, you’ll be rewarded with flavors that match up, beautifully, to the nose. We enjoyed our sample bottles with fresh from the garden Caprese Salad (Mozerella, Basil and tomato) and a grilled bone-in porkchop with an apricot onion sauce and sauteed veggies. Enjoy!!

Guest reviewer, Agent Sass, says:

A joie de vivre jumps right off this “all smoke and raspberry” wine as one is transported, from the very first swallow, to a picnic somewhere lovely – with sliced avocado, olives, some nuts, cheeses and meat, alongside! With lively color and tobacco-esque swirls of enjoyable body, this Zin is enchanting in flavor, and something not just for the grill! With the right amount of spice and fruit complementing each other, one’s palate is tantalized by this wine from start to finish and for Zin lovers, this one belongs on your list!"

About Agent Sass:

Agent Sass, currently a resident of New England, is a bond girl to the Nth degree! Speaking multiple languages, feasting on exotic game meats, drinking exclusively red wines – but for the occasional bubbly or Zind Humbrecht white – and having an affinity for leather trousers and “high fashion” shoes; Agent Sass produced an edgy wine etiquette DVD: She has enjoyed wine with her dinner nightly, since age 10, and taught extemporaneous speaking to college students prior to today. While drinking copious reds, Agent Sass raises very pampered Cocker Spaniels and prepares all of their gourmet food from scratch. Despite her luscious crush on Malbecs, her favorite wine is tied between Ghost Horse Cabernet & Screaming Eagle Cabernet – still a delicious “menage a trois” for Sass, while she determines which it is, that truly hits the spot best for her!

Mission Report:


SUBJECT: Jack Stuart

WINE EDUCATION: At my mother’s knee (age 4, in an Italian restaurant); my father’s first interest in Cabernets (when they were $3 a bottle); early underage experience in San Francisco bistros (back when you could get served); extensive travel in France and Italy; Robert Finnegan’s Private Guide to Wine (he was the Parker of the 1970s and an early booster of Domaine Dujac); Hugh Johnson’s World Atlas of Wine; an assorted case of European wines given to my wife and me as a wedding present by the father of a college friend; and two years of graduate school in the Master’s program at UC Davis.

CALIFORNIA WINE JOB BRIEF: First commercial winemaking position: Durney Vineyards, Carmel Valley, 1978 and 1979; my first Cabernet won a Gold Medal at the Orange County Fair. Longest-held position: Winemaker & General Manager of Silverado Vineyards, Stags Leap District, 1980 to 2004; in 1987 I was the first American to receive the Robert Mondavi Trophy for Winemaker of the Year award from the International Wine & Spirit Competition in London. Most closely held position: Winemaker & Partner of Trivium Wine, a local partnership making 400 cases of St. Helena Cabernet Sauvignon. Most recent position: WM & GM, Benessere Vineyards, since January.

WINEMAKING PHILOSOPHY: Let the variety and the place speak (or sing!) in the wine. Not overripe, not over-alcoholic, graceful, flavorful and balanced.

WINEMAKER QUOTE: “If two glasses of that wine will land you in the pokey or in the ditch, then it’s too damn alcoholic.”

FIRST COMMERCIAL WINE RELEASE: 1978 Durney Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon, released 1981. Recently opened a bottle of this wine to celebrate my son-in-law’s birthday (he was born that year), and it was amazing: still purple red, primary fruit aromas, lovely flavors and balance!


AGENT RED: Greetings, Jack. We are thrilled to be showing your wine today. Thanks so much for taking some time to answer questions for our Operatives today.

JACK: Thank, Red. Great to be with you, today!

RED: What wine or winemaker has most influenced your winemaking style?

JACK: Martin Ray Saratoga Cabernet Sauvignon, 1960-something, tasted in the late sixties or early seventies; my first experience with new French oak in a California wine. Two wines from 1970: Ch. Mouton, bought for $20, and BV Private Reserve, bought for $8.33; both rich, elegant, pure expression of Cabernet Sauvignon.

RED: Who do you make wine for?

JACK: Myself, and consumers who appreciate what I’m trying to do. Chasing reviews destroys the soul.

RED: In your opinion, what makes the Napa Valley so special?

JACK: Napa Valley is the top red-wine producing region in the country, and one of just a handful in the world. The northwestern part of the St. Helena AVA, surrounded by mountains, with gravelly, cobbly, clay-loam soils laid down on old river terraces, is ideal for both Zinfandel and Sangiovese.

RED: How would you recommend people approach your wines and wine in general?

JACK: Come visit our tasting room at 1010 Big Tree Road in St. Helena, and you can try them. Expect wines that don’t taste like what you had last night. In a world of Cabernet, we’re doing something different. There is nearly infinite variety in the world of wine, which is what makes it more interesting than vodka, so keep trying new wines from people and places you’ve never heard of.

RED: Is there anything else you’d like to share with our readers?

JACK: Yes. The two most important things you need to know about wine is (1) what you like and (2) where to find it. Don’t be buffaloed by critics or intimidated by waiters—drink what YOU think is good. Red wine with fish is okay. The only rule is: Don’t drink and drive.

RED: Thank you so much for your time. We learned a lot about you – and your wine. Keep up the great work, we are big fans!

Wine Spies Vineyard Check:

The location of the Benessere Vineyards winery can be seen in this satellite photo.

What the Winery Says

About This Wine:

Our 2006 Old Vine Zinfandel possesses a deep ruby-purple color and a depth of aroma and flavor befitting the vintage. Black raspberry, plum jam, lavender and sandalwood are evident aromas. This Zinfandel is not a simple, fruit forward wine, but has elements of earth, age worthy tannins, and a clean balanced elegance.

Try the following foods with this wine: Beef, Blue Cheese, Creamy cheese, Grilled Beef, Pasta in tomato sauce, Pepperry beef, Pork, Roast Beef, Sausage, Steaks

About The Winery:

“Benessere” is the Italian word for well being and prosperity. This is the feeling we try to embody at Benessere Winery. We are a small family owned, high end producer of Italian varietals, located in the north end of Napa Valley on the valley floor where the soil is well suited for growing excellent wine.

The property was purchased in 1994 by John Benish. At that time it had been abandoned for some years. It has now been restored and everyone who visits comments on our beautiful setting. The buildings are sunny yellow, the flowers are breathtaking and visitors like to linger to enjoy the ambiance while sipping our exquisite wine. Because we are small, we pride ourselves on individual attention to all our visitors. Everyone who comes is treated as company and we hope you will feel this when you visit us.

In 1998 we harvested our first crop. Sangiovese is our signature wine. This beautiful deep-ruby colored, aromatic wine pairs well with all foods. We are continuing in our quest to produce the finest Sangiovese possible through gentle handling of the fruit and of the resulting wine. The Black Glass Zinfandel is exceptional and can be drunk for special occasions or for every day. You will enjoy it immensely. We make a Pinot Grigio, loved for its clean crisp taste, with fruit that has been purchased in Carneros. Every year we sell out of this very quickly.

We have expanded our selection of varietals to include Zinfandel, Merlot, Syrah and Muscat di Canelli. We also produce an outstanding blend called Phenomenon.

The wine club is open to new members. Some of our wine can be bought only through the wine club. Although we have a large group we give them all individual attention, and even have several parties a year open only to our members. They are very festive affairs and our members always enjoy these events.

In addition to our beautiful property and beautiful wine, we also have the distinctive possibility of being the only place where the late Luciano Pavarotti, the world famous tenor, made his only movie, “Yes, Giorgio”. The movie company installed a tennis court especially so Luciano could play tennis in that movie.

We would be honored to have you visit our winery.

Technical Analysis:

Alcohol: 14.7%

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