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Bennett Lane Winery

A view of Bennett Lane Winery in Napa, California

Profile: Off the oh-so beaten path of Highway 29 is this welcoming and newly remodeled tasting room where visitors can sample from Bennett Lane’s wines, including its lush Cabernet Sauvignons and the highly drinkable and affordable Maximus, a non-traditional red blend of Cabernet, Merlot, Syrah, Malbec and Petit Verdot. Also available is a new custom iPad application that guests can use for an interactive tasting experience. Owners Randy and Lisa Lynch purchased the property in 2003, choosing Napa because of their love of Cabernet. Randy’s other great love is NASCAR, and as an ex-racecar driver he couldn’t resist the opportunity to make Bennett Lane the first winery to have a NASCAR team. With the addition of Rob Hunter from Sterling Vineyards as a consulting winemaker, it looks like the checkered flag is up for this boutique winery. There is also a free picnic area that gets especially busy on Saturdays, when the tasting room staff offers chocolate and wine pairings.

2005 Bennett Lane Winery Maximus

Varietal/Style: Red blend
Origin: Napa Valley
Vintage: 2005
Winemaker: Rob Hunter
Rating: 14.5/20
Retail Price: $35

Tasting Notes: With loads of bright, vibrant fruit and exotic spices, this voluptuous wine is highlighted by ripe tannins and balanced by a hint of oak. With this unique-to-Napa blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah, the goal is to marry approachability with structure. The three varietals in the Maximus — 43 percent Sauvignon, 33 percent Merlot, 24 percent Syrah — are aged in seasoned oak for eighteen months. A powerful aroma of chocolate, vanilla and dark berries, followed by cherry flavors, greet you at the first sip. The wine is a bit hot and needs food like a spicy sausage dish or barbecue. The long finish unravels a bit of bitterness. (Date tasted: 1/22/09)

Wine of the Week February 18, 2005:
2002 Maximus Red

Also see our Tasting Notes for other Bennet Lane wines:
2002 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
2005 Primus Chardonnay
2005 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
2005 Maximus Red
2007 Maximus White
NV Napa Valley Dessert Wine
2009 Maximus White

A racecar decked with the Bennett Lane logo

3340 Hwy. 128
Calistoga, CA

Other Wineries

(Updated: 06/24/13 BH)

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