At the uppermost part of the Napa Valley, where the Vaca and Mayacamas mountain ranges meet, Bennett Lane Winery consistently crafts vintage after vintage of superb Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s hard to believe that the winery was founded by Lisa and Randy Lynch only 12 years ago, since the name Bennett Lane is already found in the top tier level of Napa Valley Cabernets.
In just 12 short years, 41 Bennett Lane wines have earned scores of 90 points from Wine Spectator, Wine Enthusiast, and The Wine Advocate. One current release, the 2010 Bennett Lane Maximus Red Feasting Wine, has more Cabernet than ever before, with 73 percent Cabernet Sauvignon, 16 percent Syrah, 5 percent Cabernet Franc, 4 percent Petit Verdot, and 2 percent Malbec. It is priced amazingly low for a wine that has garnered such high acclaim and is currently available for sampling at Bennett Lane’s tasting room. This approachable and unconventional red blend is a “must try” and one of the best deals in the Napa Valley.
Despite the accolades, Bennett Lane Winery is a relaxed and pleasant place, just about two miles north of Calistoga. It’s a popular spot among wine tourists who say it’s one of the friendliest, most welcoming wineries they’ve visited. Recently, the boutique estate winery announced a new seated tasting option aimed at celebrating the winery’s Calistoga and Napa Valley surroundings, as well as its relaxed, customer-friendly style. Available year round for groups of two to six people, the seated tasting invites guests to take a deep dive into Bennett Lane’s more exclusive wines under the guidance of a personal wine specialist. Seated at a private table, guests are lead at a leisurely pace through a tasting of four of the winery’s top-end wines including the Reserve or Single Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon. Each wine is explored in depth, and there is plenty of time for questions and discussion. This intimate tasting is a classic example of the warm, hospitable style for which Bennett Lane is known—relaxed, informative, and above all, friendly.