The domaine is centered around a 16th century fortified farm, bought by the Benau family in 1980.
For almost 20 years they sold their viticultural production to the local Co-op. In 1999, when their young daughter Julie returned to the domaine, they bottled part of their production for the first time. At Julie’s insistence, the Benau’s have set their sights on putting only the highest quality wines in bottle. In 2001, they bottled a mere 2,000 cases at the domaine (2 cuvées of Picpoul de Pinet).
A bit about Picpoul,
Delightfully light and bright this lip smacking white grape believed to be indigenous to the Languedoc. It is Southern Frances answer to muscadet and as the label suggests pairs brilliantly with shellfish. PIcpoul also accounts for most of the regions vermouth production and has fallen into an unfortunate state of bulk wine production for the most part.
This is not the case at Domaine Julie Benau, theses wine while having a full weight to the palate and intense acid, while remaining linear and racey, almost chablis-esque.
Since Julie's return they have been hard at work in the cellar and vineyards to increase the quality of their harvest. If you the can find a better glass of affordable white wine drink it!
We here at Terroir love this man and his wines. He is Hank Beckmeyer
Region : Sierra Foothills, Ca (Sommerset)
If you think you know what non-interventionist, organic farming is, you need to update your understanding of what this term really means in a vineyard, Hanks vines are not trained on wires and grow on a soil that is never plowed, along a farming philosophy which is close to Fukuoka's, which means basically plants that grow almost as free as wild bushes. Another thing that puts Hank on another level compared to many winegrowers is that he wants to
vinify a vineyard, even if this vineyard is planted with apparently unpaired varieties. For example he makes a wine from his estate vines planted around his house and you get all these varieties together that express through the blend the character of the terroir.
That being said we are especially jazzed on his single varietal wines as well, especially on this recent release of his 2013 Cedarville Mourvedre.
With tones of leather and spice it shows some classic varietal characteristic and a fruit profile rich with oppulant tones of willd raspberry, cassis and orange zest that wave the flag for American wines with out being over ripe or 15% alcohol.
Pairs brilliantly with seasonal dishes and ingredients like pommegranite, persimmon, squash and chicories.