Wine Recommendation
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Wine Recommendation

Bennett Lane Winery 2003 Maximus  (Napa Valley)

Bennett Lane Winery

2003 Maximus
(Napa Valley)

Three years ago, after a trip to Italy turned their world around, Randy and Lisa Lynch purchased a Napa Valley estate and vineyards. Trading a successful marketing company for La Dolce Vita, the couple set out to make the kind of wines they enjoyed at the table in Oenetria, “the land of wine.” They hired Rob Hunter, of Sterling Vineyards, Markham, Lyeth and Robert Keenan, as winemaker, who, at odds with the more restrained style of wines found abroad, prefers an “intense black cherry fruit and a big jammy style.”

The red Maximus, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah (with a touch of Petit Verdot), is just the ticket. The deep ruby wine is as dark, mysterious, intriguing, and even off-putting as that first taste of the unknown, yet is as ripe and accessible as a more familiar American red. Smooth and round with plum, currant, cassis, raspberry, earth, tar, vanilla, and toast notes, the wine is balanced and complex with ripe tannins and a long, oaky finish.

Though a bit too soft and unstructured for the highly prized, regionally specific dishes of Italy, it does pair well with a variety of “Americanized” Italian food such as spaghetti and meatballs or veal saltimbocca.

Reviewed November 14, 2006 by Catherine Fallis.

Other reviewed wines from Bennett Lane Winery


The Wine

Winery: Bennett Lane Winery
Vintage: 2003
Wine: Maximus
Appellation: Napa Valley
Grapes: Cabernet Sauvignon (63%), Syrah / Shiraz (24%), Merlot (11%), Petit Verdot (2%)
Price: 750ml $28.00

Review Date: 11/14/2006

The Reviewer

Catherine Fallis

Founder and President of Planet Grape LLC, a company committed to bringing the joy of wine, food, and good living into the lives of everyday people, Catherine is creator of the “grape goddess guides to good living,” a series of books, television presentations, seminars, and e-learning programs. The fifth woman in the world to become a Master Sommelier, grape goddess Catherine Fallis is still very much down-to-earth.