Tribute is a ﬁrst of its kind. Made entirely from estate-grown grapes, this Bordeaux blend of predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon reveals the complexity and individuality of our Benziger family Sonoma Mountain estate. The ﬁrst Demeter-certiﬁed Biodynamic® wine from Sonoma County and one of the ﬁrst from North America, Tribute is now in its sixth vintage.
Biodynamics is the most advanced and holistic form of organic agriculture, in which the farm itself is viewed as a living organism. It is distinguished from organic and sustainable farming by its ability to revitalize and individualize a property.
In Biodynamics, we eliminate artificial inputs and minimize interference and manipulation at every stage of the growing and winemaking process. As we step back and let nature go to work, we see Biodynamics building biological capital year after year, promoting a unique environment that we refer to as farm individuality. This individuality results in wines with distinctive, vineyard-speciﬁc ﬂavors.
The goal of a Biodynamic wine is not perfection, but rather to truly and authentically reﬂect the character of a place, variety and vintage, as well as the passion of the people who make it. Download Tasting Notes
The wine has a very rich, concentrated entry. Because of the warmth late in the growing season there is a juiciness that explodes with flavor. Very developed mid-palate with soft tannins give the wine a sort of oval shape in the mouth. The finish is packed with flavors of berry and nutmeg. Good acidity stretches out the finish giving this wine a beautiful horizontal character that is texturally fascinating.
Early rains in January helped establish good ground water for later in the year. A heat spike lasted a record 10 days in July. Then came the rains, which sent us rushing to leaf the vines, allowing sunshine and air to reach the clusters. The vintage was punctuated by two weeks of perfect Indian summer that really concentrated the fruit without the downside of dehydration or overripeness.
To enhance the vineyard character in Tribute, we fermented the wine with
native yeast. The wine went through natural malolactic fermentation in barrels during the winter and spring in our underground caves. We blended the wine and then gave it a solid 20 months in French oak barrels (35 percent of which were new), before bottling Tribute, unﬁltered, in July of 2008. The wine was aged for 11 months in the bottle before its release in May of 2009. Enjoyable now, but it will continue to age nicely for 15 to 20 years under proper cellaring conditions. Decanting will add to its enjoyment.