Many of our loyal customers know how good these wines are, and Banshee Wines are absolutely blowing up all over the country. Started by three friends, including one of my fraternity brothers, Banshee owns no vineyards of its own but works in lock-step with high-end vineyard owners and wineries to produce wines of depth, purity and balance. They purchase really good fruit and sometimes finished barrels of wine and blend these lots together to create expressive wines that taste like they cost a lot more than they do.
Join Mike Kolker and the Team Table Wine on Friday, June 8 from 4 to 7 p.m. as we sample through their entire lineup of wines. The cost for the tasting is $5/person or it’s free if you’re a Grape Nut. Light palate cleansers will be served as well. You don’t want to miss this one! Here’s the lineup:
1. 2011 Banshee Sauvignon Blanc (Napa Valley) – Banshee gets 98% of the fruit from one of the top three Sauvignon Blanc producers in the Napa Valley. This is a slighty grassy, lemon blossom and citrusy Sauvignon blanc, with a rush of melony goodness on the palate. Medium-bodied, this wine has good texture AND acidity, which would come as no surprise if you knew the wine’s source.
2. 2011 Rickshaw Chardonnay (North Coast) – Made all in stainless steel tanks with no malolactic fermentation taking place with fruit sourced from cool vineyard sites in Mendocino and the Sonoma Coast, this is a zingy, Chablis-like Chardonnay. The wine offers up bright notes of lemon, apple and pear with refreshing acidity at its core.
3. 2010 Rickshaw Pinot Noir (North Coast) – The 2010 Rickshaw Pinot is composed primarily of two upper echelon appellations: Sonoma Coast and Anderson Valley. The wine saw about 20% new French Oak and twelve months of aging and the result is a wine of tremendous purity and aromatic intensity. It is extremely well balanced and above all, delicious. The nose offers up sweet cherry notes, rose petals and a touch of forest floor. The wine is suave and pleasantly juicy on the palate with notes of plum, dark cherry and pomegranate.
4. 2010 Banshee Pinot Noir (Sonoma County) – This was the first wine we carried from Banshee, and it is a wonderful value in California Pinot Noir. Fruit is sourced primarily from select vineyards along the Sonoma Coast and in the Russian River Valley, and this is a very pretty style of Pinot with gorgeous notes of Ranier cherries, wild strawberry, jasmine, plum, and brown spice. It would give many Pinots at twice the price a run for their money.
5. 2007 Banshee Red Wine (Central Coast) – This Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre blend, with fruit coming mostly from Paso Robles, is like a Cotes du Rhone on steroids. Oozing with ripe red and black cherry and raspberry fruit, it is rich and full bodied, supple and pleasurable. This would be a great one to pour at summer barbecues and cook outs.
6. 2010 Richshaw Cabernet Sauvignon (Various Areas) – This is simply a superb value in California Cabernet, and it comes with a great story and composition. The base for the wine is Napa Valley fruit that was originally intended for $50+ bottles of wine. Choice pieces from well known Cabernet Sauvignon appellations such as Alexander Valley and Paso Robles were then layered on, as well as a huge score of 8 barrels from a recent James Beard nominated winemaker. The resulting wine is a regal, but friendly expression of Cabernet. Beautiful aromas of dark cherries, ripe plum and cigar box leap from the glass. These are followed by a suave mix of wild berries, mocha, and spice. The wine has a ballast of ripe and extremely well integrated tannins.
7. 2010 Banshee Mordecai Red Blend (Various Areas) – Three months and a whopping thirteen varieties later, the Banshee team finally nailed the blend for the 2010 Mordecai. For the record, the blend consists of: Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec, Petit Verdot, Petite Sirah, Grenache, Montepulciano, Mouvedre, Zinfandel, Pinot Noir and Carignane. This is a juicy, almost jammy fruit and spice bomb with layers of ripe berry fruit, pepper, herbs and spices. It is a real crowd pleaser and is sure to have your head spinning.
8. 2009 Banshee Cabernet Sauvignon (Napa Valley) – We’ll finish with Banshee’s brilliant 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon. It contains barrels of well known superstar vineyards such as Stagecoach and Ink Grade along with up and coming vineyards from across Napa such as Coombseville vineyard. As with vintages past, the wine takes a best of both worlds approach, displaying elements of both mountainside and valley floor fruit. It exhibits a rich nose of blackcurrant, cassis, and smokey spice, with alluring floral overtones. Plum, black raspberry and hints of vanilla toast and cedary spice chime on the palate, which is framed by elegant tannins. Subtle earthy notes accent the finish, which leaves a lingering impression.