Red Wines    Pinot Noir    Willamette Valley    Oregon   
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Date Printed: 10/21/2014
Benton Lane First Class Pinot Noir 2006
Benton Lane First Class Pinot Noir 2006
(search item no. 97530)
boutique wine
screw cap wine

Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 10/21/2014: $52.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2010 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2010 Wine & Spirits rating: 90 points
2009 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2008 Wine Spectator rating: 91 points
2008 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
2003 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points

Winemaker's Notes:

Our First Class is produced only when we have a particular lot of wine that is very, very special, and the 2006 First Class Pinot Noir is such a wine. To start, we look to our favorite vineyard sites for the most balanced, flavorful and concentrated Pinot Noir. We ferment these lots in small fermenters called "pots". We baby them every step of the way and move the best wine into new French oak barrels for sixteen months of ageing. As the wines develop, we select the best barrels to eventually become "FIRST CLASS" - the best of the best.

The 2006 First Class Pinot Noir is a dark ruby colored wine that exhibits cherry and blackberry aromas with underlying scents of anise, mocha and blueberry. Very ripe tannins and balanced acidity create a rich, velvety texture. The exquisite balance of this wine makes it a very versatile wine with food.

My Notes:

Additional wines from Benton Lane:

About Benton Lane:

Steve and Carol Girard have been owners of Benton-Lane since 1988. Carol and Steve shared a passionate desire to produce great Pinot Noir but decided their native California was probably not the best place in which to make it. Instead, they headed to Oregon where the cooler climate offered the possibility of producing Pinot Noir with better balance and structure.

After countless months of looking at possible properties, Carol and Steve discovered an old sheep ranch called "Sunnymount" in the southern Willamette Valley. It was immediately apparent Sunnymount held great potential as a vineyard site. The property is in the foothills of the costal mountain range on the west side of the valley with hillsides sloping east by southeast, a perfect orientation for planting Pinot Noir.

Sunnymount straddled the border between Benton and Lane counties with some of the land being in each, and so the name Benton-Lane was born. Carol and Steve purchased the property in 1988 and planting of Pinot Noir commenced in 1989. Benton-Lane’s first vintage was 1992 which was custom produced at another local winery. This process continued until 1997 when the Benton-Lane winery was constructed.

Benton-Lane produced Pinot Noir exclusively until 2003. In 2004, the winery began full-scale commercial production of Pinot Gris from grapes purchased from carefully selected Willamette Valley growers.