Brian Benson 2005 Syrah home tasting

by Stevie on August 20, 2009

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Brian Benson 2005 Syrah Denner Vineyards with hand written note

Brian Benson 2005 Syrah Denner Vineyards with hand written note

We ‘discovered’ Brian Benson Cellars at the recent Paso Robles wine festival held every spring in downtown Paso Robles. There are dozens of wineries represented which is usually too much wine to try. Generally we strategize the night before: eliminating wineries that we’re already familiar with and trying to focus on those that are new to us or seem interesting. Fortunately, Brian Benson was on our short list. Their tent was right near where we entered the park so we tried them first. Now we’re hooked!

We stumbled across a bottle of the same yummy Syrah later that afternoon at the Paso Robles Albertsons I think it was. Hegui and I quaffed that one down a couple of months later and still thought that the wine was amazing! It had a kind of bloody meaty taste that reminded us of some French Syrahs from the Rhone region that we’ve enjoyed. So recently I ordered a case of the same wine directly from Brian Benson. It came last week.

It arrived with a hand-written note from Brian Benson himself. He writes that this particular wine is “my favorite wine I’ve made so far!” That’s pretty cool.

I’ve opened a bottle the first day that it arrived. The cork looked a little funny and the wine did taste slightly different from the previous bottle that we tried. I can’t decide if it was the particular bottle or if it was due to the shipping process in that the wine was jostled and just needs some time to rest. We were so excited about it that we couldn’t wait! It wasn’t like we remember but it was still really good.

2005 Brian Benson Syrah Denner Vineyards:

This wine is an opaque purple color with little brown hints on the edge of the glass. To Hegui it smelled “like summer” with aromas of “sun-baked dried herbs” and tobacco notes. It had an earthy sort of herbal taste with notes of plum, coffee and tobacco. This had a medium to full body with a long almost spicy finish.

Brian Benson offers a discount price on their wine if you buy six or more bottles at a time and a deeper discount if you’re a member of their wine club. I’ve not seen these wines in San Francisco wine shops, which is too bad. As to the taste difference between bottles ‘issue,’ I don’t really think that that’s a huge problem. We had another bottle about a week later at Pizza Nostra (they do corkage for only $15!) The wine tasted divine! So I’m not worried. Actually, I’ve heard that there’s no such thing as a good wine: there’s only good bottles of wine. You’re bound to notice variations from bottle to bottle. That’s o.k. though can come as a surprise if you have your heart and mind set on one particular taste.

Next time we’re in Paso Robles, I definitely want to go to this winery!

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Jasmine Turner August 20, 2009 at 9:06 am

Wow, I remember when you got that bottle at Albertsons, it seems so long ago! It really inspired you I see! I would like to try it now that you describe it in such detail! Thanks for the note about Pizza Nostra for fifteen dollars on their corkage. Where is Pizza Nostra? It really is too bad there’s none of that wine for sale in SF! I like the mention that there’s only good bottles of wine because after drinking a lot of it you do tend to notice it’s all in the bottle!

Brian Benson August 22, 2009 at 5:21 am

Thanks for the kind words!!! I don’t filter or fine my wines so sometimes they have some sediment on the cork… the “gooey” stuff… Not sure on the bottle variation… Haven’t heard that before… bouncing in a truck for a few days couldn’t have helped? Stop by next time your in Paso! Thanks again – Brian Benson

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