I had the pleasure to join Tribute Wines with Chris Benziger during a virtual tasting in the summer. Chris Benziger showcased his wine line and called Tribute, which sounded like a new idea with some nostalgia and an ode to a family. His Father’s Winery Benziger in California was sold to The Wine Group in 2015. Therefore, Tribute Wines offer some nostalgia but new and certified sustainable on the winemaking techniques.
During the virtual tasting, we heard the stories of each bottle and tasted along with Chris a Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. Moreover, Chris Benziger sounded like a guy down to earth and someone passionate about doing wine and sharing the stories of his family. He made us feel like part of his friends, speaking very relaxed way. Furthermore, he shared the vision and the farming strategies he is implementing in the vineyards concerning the environment in many ways certified sustainable. Chris emphasized that there was a story behind every bottle.
Tribute Cabernet Sauvignon 2019
The story behind Cabernet Sauvignon is very significant for the Benziger Family. They initially moved from New York to California and bought their ranch because it had a reputation for great Cabernet dating back to the 1800s. Henceforth, Tribute Cabernet Sauvignon made by Chris Benziger evoques that memory.
Tribute Wine Cabernet Sauvignon 2019 is complex. With aromas of dark berries and spices is an opulent and bold wine. Well-integrated tannins build to a long, velvety finish. This Cabernet underwent malolactic fermentation before 13 months of aging on toasted French and American oak. In addition, this wine goes great with steak, BBQ, or vegetarian portobello fajitas.
Tribute Wine Pinot Noir 2018
Considered the varietal of “passion,” Pinot Noir, by the Benziger’s, is unique in how challenging it is to make into good wine Pinot Noir “keeps us at the top of our game .” Fresh red fruit such as strawberry, plums, and black cherry aromas on the aromas. Notes of bright red fruit, clove, and vanilla come alive on the palate with a smooth velvety finish. This wine goes great with pork or salmon.
Tribute Chardonnay 2019
Chardonnay was the varietal put the Benziger family on the map and taught them how to farm grapes across California. Tribute Wine Chardonnay is a rounded wine with aromas of ripe pear, crisp apple, and bright citrus met with decadent vanilla & creme brulee through the mid-palate and finish. This Chardonnay is 100% barrel fermented and aged in French and American oak for eight months. This wine goes great with chicken, creamy pasta.
Tribute Wine Sauvignon Blanc 2019
Sauvignon Blanc was the first wine the Benziger family ever made; they consider it “proof” of their ability to survive & thrive in the wine business. Therefore, this single-vineyard Tribute Sauvignon Blanc is very special. Tribute Sauvignon Blanc offfers bold tropical citrus, grapefruit, and pineapple with a beautiful minerality.
My favorite was the Pinot Noir and the Sauvignon Blanc. However, I had to say that the Chardonnay was a well-rounded wine with balance. I wish I could visit California and visit some of the vineyards he is growing the vines at.