Michael Bonaccorsi’s untimely death in 2004 seemingly ended a most promising career.
The 43-year-old master sommelier-turned-winemaker had just begun to realize his potential with a string of excellent vintages when a heart attack claimed his life.
Then his wife, Jenne Lee, and friends rallied and kept both his wines and his dream alive. It has been Jenne's goal to surpass the quality of Mike’s early wines, and I think she is on track.
During yesterday’s blind tasting for our Pinot Noir report, to be published in the September issue, I came across three of the 2005s from Bonaccorsi (to go along with another 2005 I tried last week). Combined, they are among the best 2005s I’ve had this year.
All four of the wines are rich and full-bodied, complex and concentrated, with the area’s signature dark fruit aromas. The three single-vineyard bottlings, from Melville, Fiddlestix and Sanford & Benedict, are the best bottlings I’ve had from those sites in 2005. The Melville ($60, 200 cases) has a rich boysenberry and blackberry core of fruit. The Fiddlestix ($60, 150 cases) exhibits a lively beam of raspberry and blueberry. The S&B ($60, 125 cases) is sleek and a touch earthier, but very classy. The Santa Rita Hills bottling is smooth and plush and costs $55, with 400 cases made.
I couldn’t help but think that Michael would have been proud.
Brian Loring — Lompoc, CA — May 30, 2007 6:49pm ET
Sao Anash — Santa Barbara — May 30, 2007 11:52pm ET
Troy Peterson — Burbank, CA — May 31, 2007 5:30pm ET
Don R Wagner — Illinois — May 31, 2007 10:08pm ET
John — Chicago, Illinois — June 1, 2007 11:54am ET
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