In the fall of 2000 winery owner and viticulturist Jim Regusci purchased 20 tons of exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon grapes from a vineyard that he planted and manages for a close friend. He brought the grapes to his winery and had them crushed and isolated from the rest of his own Regusci Estate grown grapes.
Not having a specific plan for the grapes, he asked his winemaker Charles Hendricks to make the wine and age it separately. Because the particular vineyard did not have a name, one of his cellar hands chose to label the barrels "Twenty Bench". The name was chosen to signify the 20 tons of fruit from the gentle rising bench land vineyard from which they were picked.
The following year Jim was approached by two of his close friends, James Harder and Jim Gill, who together also happen to oversee the sales and marketing of Jim's own Regusci Estate wines. The two were interested in developing their own wine with one simple mission in mind - to make an exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon that could retail for around $20 per bottle and "over deliver" on quality for the price.
Regusci took them into his cellar and drew a barrel sample of the wine for the two to try. After one small taste both knew that this was the Cabernet Sauvignon they had in mind. When the three men also noticed the name "Twenty Bench" written in chalk on the side of the barrels they also discovered a great name for this special wine. A partnership was struck on the spot.
After just three vintages, the highly allocated "Twenty Bench" has already earned a stellar reputation among some of the countries top restaurants and wine retailers for offering an exceptional Cabernet Sauvignon at a very affordable price.
Learn More About Cabernet Sauvignon
(cab-uhr-NAY sow-veeh-yawn) King of Red Many refer to Cabernet Sauvignon as the king of red grapes. Perhaps that title is due to its ability to grow worldwide in a number of climates, or to the fact that it produces wine with such character yet such diversity. Either way, this grape is responsible, as a whole or a partner, for some of the greatest wines in the world. In Bordeaux, Cabernet Sauvignon is the principle grape of the Medoc. It plays a supporting role in the blends of the right bank in regions such as St-Emillion and Pomerol. It also found a very successful home in California - particularly the Napa Valley - where it crafts the classic and cult wines of the region. However, Cabernet is a hearty grape, and has taken well to many regions: South America, Australia, South Africa, Washington State and Italy's Tuscan coast.
Notable Facts The Cabernet Sauvignon grape is a small berry with a thick skin and a high pip to pulp ratio. This in turn creates a wine high in color, tannin and extract. Typical Cabernet Sauvignon descriptors include blackberry, cassis, cedar and currant. Because the grape adapts to many different soils and climates, its characteristics truly reflect a sense of place. In Bordeaux you'll find the more earthy, tannic side of Cabernet, where it's typically blended to soften tannins and add complexity. In warmer regions like California and Australia, you'll frequently find ripe fruit flavors upfront. Cabernet Sauvignon crafts wines as a single varietal and as a blending partner, where it can add structure and tannins.
Summing it up Successful Sites: Just about everywhere, particularly Bordeaux and California
Common Descriptors: blackberry, black chery, black currant, cassis, herbs, cedar, tobacco, earth
Learn More About Napa Valley, California
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Within the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just grated an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.