2014 marks the first vintage of Bench Vineyards yet the family bringing this new Stags Leap District Cabernet Blend to the table is no stranger to the wine business. In partnership with her parents, Allison Steltzner Sharp and Sam Sharp are now utilizing their family’s 30-acre bench vineyard in Stags Leap District to the fullest with the help of great farming by vineyard manager Jim Barbour and his team alongside Mike Smith, their winemaker. Dick Steltzner bought the front 50 acres alongside Silverado Trail back in the early 1960’s in addition to the back 30 acres thanks to the advice of Warren Winiarski, founder of Stags Leap Wine Cellars, also a newcomer at the time. When he sold the front vineyard and winery facility to the Plumpjack Group, it became Odette Estate. But thankfully, Dick kept the treasured 30 acres that rest gently on the Stags Leap Palisades bench. This 2014 is a richly concentrated, beautiful Cabernet blend (50% Cabernet Sauvignon, 25% Malbec, 25% Petit Verdot) with classic dark red fruit and secondary notes of cassis and graphite with a sumptuous finish. It is by far one of the most exciting new Stags Leap District releases this year. The Steltzners are now selling most of their vineyard fruit to some of the best winemakers in the valley today which is why only 270 cases were produced.