Oonapais is a Demeter-certified Biodynamic® wine produced entirely from the Benziger Family Estate. The Sonoma Mountain appellation is one of the smallest and most exclusive appellations in California. The Native Americans who first lived in the area were intimately familiar with the land and its diversity of sun exposures and soil types. They called it “Oonapais” after the Buckeye trees found on Sonoma Mountain.Download Tasting Notes
Oonapais showcases the diverse and healthy environment in and around the Benziger Family Estate. The blend is made up of 78% Cabernet Sauvignon, 14% Merlot, 5% Cabernet Franc and 3% Petit Verdot. Each varietal imparts its own distinct flare; ripe black cherry aromas along with plum, blueberry and cassis expose Cab’s rich fruit components while Merlot’s well-integrated tannins help soften its big mouthfeel and elongate the finish. It is a powerful wine with intense body and texture. Drink now, but it will improve until 2016.
As seems to be the pattern over the past few years, 2009 was a year of extremes. This vintage also marks the third year in a row of below average rainfall. But a few things define this harvest in particular. First, rains in May took the edge off the drought and were responsible for the beautiful, full-strength photosynthetic canopies we had going into harvest. Second, was the roller coaster weather throughout the summer. We had 10-12 days of cool weather followed by 2-3 days of very warm weather. The heat wasn’t high enough and didn’t last long enough to damage anything, but it gave the grapes a good push towards ripening. Consistently, the cool weather returned and we were back to slow, even ripening. This back and forth seemed to have worked out well for the vintage. Third, flavor development was further ahead in 2009. The heat bumps have brought up the flavors and the cool weather has kept the structure and acid intact.