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Mendocino Benchlands 2019

60% Nero d'Avola, 40% Zinfandel · Mendocino County · 759 Cases

A new school take on an Italian classic. We kept a selection of this wine aging in the cellar to be released for moments that call for friendly faces and fancy pants. Black cherries and black tea. An extra year of age offers an integrated, silky tannin with a relaxed, soulful palette.

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750 ml, 12.5% ABV

Enjoy With

Elevated burgers, savory kebabs and anything that can stand up to the this tannic, textural treat. 

Drink When

You’re headed to a dinner party with new friends and you need something that won’t bring extra baggage to the table. 

Martha's Notes

The Mendocino Benchlands blend has been resurrected (original vintage was 2015) as a result of a new vineyard we started leasing and farming in 2019 in Mendocino County called Chiarito-Ling. The blend of 60% Nero d’Avola and 40% Zinfandel is inspired by the classic Cerasuolo di Vittoria blend of 60% Nero d’Avola and 40% Frappato from Sicily. Shoutout to Chris Brockway of Broc Cellars for giving me the idea to swap Frappato for Zin. A Cerasuolo di California, if you will.

The name of this wine refers to the uplifted benchlands in Mendocino where all of the original Italian settlers planted vines (rather than the valley floor). All of the vineyards in this blend are planted on those uplifted benchlands.







60% Nero d'Avola, 40% Zinfandel


Nero d’Avola: 30% Chiarito-Ling Vineyard, Ukiah, Mendocino County; a new vineyard that we are leasing and farming; 27-year old vines, head trained, no till, loam soils.

22% Bricarelli Ranch (formerly Benson Ranch), Ukiah, Mendocino County; 14 year old head trained, dry farmed vines, gravelly loam soil.

8% Fox Hill Vineyard, Talmage Bench, Mendocino County; 33 year old vines; sandy loam soils.

Zinfandel: Chiarito-Ling Vineyard, see above.

Vinification Notes:

All four components of this early season Zin, Petite Sirah, and mid-season Nero d’Avola blend were fermented separately in small batches: whole cluster for the Zin and Petite, destemmed for the Nero. All lots pressed prior to dryness and barrel aged for 6 months off lees. Unfined. Unfiltered. Sediment expected.


Serving Temp:

Cold. Take out of the fridge for 20 minutes. We love to start drinking this wine cold-ish and enjoy as it warms up a bit.

At Bottling:

13% alcohol. Unfiltered. At bottling (March 2020): free SO2 12 mg/L, total SO2 23 mg/L.


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