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Benevolent Neglect Whole Cluster Syrah 2016

Red Wines

Benevolent Neglect Whole Cluster Syrah 2016

Benevolent Neglect Syrah.jpg
Benevolent Neglect Syrah.jpg

Benevolent Neglect Whole Cluster Syrah 2016


Sonoma Carneros, Sonoma County

We are sadly out of the 2015 Las Madres Syrah from Benevolent Neglect with no more on the US side, but - we have something else made from the same vineyard, perhaps even something more special.

The whole cluster edition is only produced in the best vintages. Tiny quantities available. Matt selected equal amounts of fruit from the top and bottom rows of the vineyard, and fermented them without additions as 100% whole clusters, for greater tannic structure and depth to the finished wine.

An invigorating nose of violets, black olives, both fresh and tapenade and sweet loose leaf tea. Squashy mulberries, with a surprisingly lithe, blue and black fruited palate with a dark spiced element - dark chocolate dipped orange peel and pot pourri. Exceptionally smooth and complete, even at this young age. Firm yet incorporated umami tannins finish this extremely impressive wine. Lavish and lingering.

Matt and Ben, the two immensely talented boys behind Benevolent Neglect have landed something of a coup to secure the backing the Las Madres growers. It all started when they met John Painter and Jean Gadiot, who have owned the Las Madres vineyard since its inception. To give a little history, John and Jean converted overgrown pasture land into what is now the Las Madres site - a beautiful VSP trellised, cool-climate Syrah vineyard with two distinct blocks, amongst a sea of Chardonnay and Pinot. This site is a serious labour of love, farmed entirely by hand and organically, with minimal to no irrigation.

It was Ben and Matt’s first step into winemaking, and how honoured they were. It’s no real surprise they were given this opportunity with the credentials they both hold - Ben used to work at Rutherford Wine Co, whilst Matt was producing 100 point blockbuster reds at Maybach, with some pretty serious ($400!) price tags to match. Quite the talented pair.

Nowadays at Benevolent Neglect, they work with a selection of vineyards that they farm themselves with the greatest care. Their philosophy is to be 100% transparent, “mucking around” with the fruit as little as possible. As they say : “find the best quality fruit we can get our hands on, and then do as little as possible to it!”

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