2017 Benchmark Tuscan Blend by Umbriaso, San Francisco, California

Tonight’s Occasion: 2017 Benchmark Tuscan Blend (Sonoma) by Umbriaso, San Francisco, California

Deep dark (but clear) burgundy color. Out of the bottle this wine is recognizable with great sense of place – Sonoma. Subtle earth notes of damp woody forest floor and cherry cola. Not as pronounced as in more terroir driven varietals from this region such as Pinot Noir but unmistakable. I love this kind of fidelity. Crisp slightly ripe dark plum skins of the Syrah and a sweet citrus from the Sangiovese play second fiddle. Swirling unlocks hints of red vines licorice. A nice crisp, clean, beautiful aromatic nose.

Body is balanced from front to back. Fairly dry with great fruit characteristics. A slightly weighted mouth feel greets the palate immediately. Restrained plum and mild citrus acidity part immediately. One precipitating into thin crisp unobtrusive tannic structure, the other transitioning to light bright berries. The later quickly dissipates leaving behind a subtle cola as the tannic structure grows in intensity. This marks the transition to a finish dominated by a dry, fine grit tannic grip and the faintest hint of spice. Not a single trace of the body remains. Just my lips parched shut.

This wine shows great execution. Clean, crisp, delineated with a great sense of place. You don’t have to look very far to find a hidden gem. Mr Hayes has been pouring his art on Treasure Island for a while now. There’s a little Winemakers’ Co-operative out there I highly recommend you visit. It’s called Treasure Island Wines. On any given day you can find an Artisan quietly pouring wines crafted with an obsessive attention to detail. This my friends, is what wine really is about.

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