Inaugural Release – Benovia’s Cabernet Sauvignon


“These Cabernet Sauvignon wines from Cooley Vineyard and Oakville are true to their varietal character. They are leaner, more nuanced, and complex.” – Mike Sullivan, co-owner and winemaker of Benovia Winery.

Our winemaking heritage encompasses the art of making Cabernet Sauvignon with both winemaker Mike Sullivan and associate winemaker Adolfo Hernandez beginning their winemaking career in Cabernet Sauvignon. In this release, the winemaking team’s extensive knowledge in crafting Cabernet Sauvignon is complemented by unparalleled fruit from the Napa Valley’s prestigious Oakville AVA and from the esteemed Cooley Vineyard in Northern Sonoma.

“We’re crafting Cabernet Sauvignon because we love the traditional style made with minimal intervention. Our winemakers cut their teeth making Cabernet Sauvignon and they have produced extraordinary wines.” Benovia co-founder Joe Anderson, in describing the winery’s portfolio expansion.

Our philosophy in making Cabernet Sauvignon was to take a back seat to the terroir of the place. We wanted our winemaking to be precise and stripped of pretension, embracing the authenticity of the place and the intensity of the fruit. These wines are a blend of the old-school approach to cabernet coupled with modern techniques, leading to a style that is distinctly Benovian. The grapes were fermented in a combination of oak and stainless steel with a long and gentle extraction, resulting in wines of a beautifully aromatic and textural quality with gracefully restrained power.

Oakville, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

The Napa Valley is iconic for producing ageable Cabs with distinctness. We were thrilled to get access to some of the coveted fruit of a small vineyard site in the eastern edges of Oakville as part of our inaugural Cabernet release. This site sits near the Napa River in the valley floor, close to Silverado Trail, and exudes the minerality and complexity that is a staple of Napa Valley floor Cabernet Sauvignons.

Exquisitely rich and decadent, dark floral aromas are showcased on the nose with a layered bouquet of blackberry and cassis. The wine has tremendous richness and the fine-grained tannin flow seamlessly across the palate with a lingering dark chocolate and spice-box finish. These wines will flourish and continue to improve in your cellar for the next 7-12 years. For earlier drinking, it is suggested to decant before serving.

Only 240 cases of this wine were made.

“It’s like baseball. It’s always good to learn a new pitch. It changes your arsenal.” – Associate winemaker Adolfo Hernandez on making Cabernet Sauvignon.

Cooley Vineyard, Sonoma County Cabernet Sauvignon

Cooley Ranch Vineyard panoramic views, sitting high above Lake Sonoma.

Sonoma County holds a special place in our heart for sourcing and growing our wines. When we had the opportunity to source Cabernet Sauvignon from the Cooley Ranch, we knew we had something special at our fingertips.

The Cooley Ranch, owned by the 6th generation Californian family, is located in the northernmost part of the Sonoma County AVA between 900-1200 feet above Lake Sonoma. Being only 12 miles from the coast, the fruit ripens later and has lower alcohol, making it a very food-friendly wine. The vineyard site sits above Rock Pile AVA and is composed of shale and josephine complex soil. This site gave the winemaking team at Benovia a lot of excitement and apprehension.

This wine has a distinctively red-fruit leaning profile with soaring aromas of cassis, blackberry, and espresso. On the palate vibrant black cherry and cocoa flavors finish with firm but polished tannins and a lingering finish. These wines will flourish and continue to improve in your cellar for the next 7-12 years. For earlier drinking, it is suggested to decant before serving.

Only 180 cases were produced of this inaugural Cooley Vineyard wine.

Associate Winemaker Adolfo Hernandez developed the foundation of his winemaking while at Eisele Vineyard, under both Araujo Estate and Chateau Latour, as well as Checkerboard Vineyards and Pahlmeyer. Winemaker and co-owner Mike Sullivan spent much of his early career making Bordeaux varietals at Chappellet Winery on Pritchard Hill in the Napa Valley.

These new offerings join the ranks of Benovia’s limited production, critically-acclaimed wines. Benovia historically has crafted some of the most elusive wines from the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast, and are prized acquisitions for collectors of balanced and expressive Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.