Vacation Tasting Report: Bachelor Ben's Envolve Winery Pinot Noir

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

2011 Envolve Winery Lennox Vineyard Pinot Noir
One of my favorite things to do while on vacation is check out local shops to see what they have to offer in the way of beer & wine. Long-time readers might recall that South Haven, MI is a place we return to almost every summer and this year was no exception. Here's a blog post from my 9 year old describing why this is such a great place: Go to Michigan!

The best shop in town for wine is The Depot. Every time I go in there I'm amazed at the quality and assortment they offer in such a tiny shop in such a small town. The prices aren't bad either. I like to pick up a few summer beers here too but it's always nice to have some red wine on hand for relaxing evening consumption.

See also: Beer's Inherent Summer Advantage

The wine that jumped out at me this year was a bottle of 2011 Envolve Winery Lennox Vineyard Pinot Noir. You might recognize the Envolve name from Bachelor Ben Flajnik's involvement. Ben always struck me as a likable regular guy on the show so I made a mental note to pick up a bottle of his wine if I ever saw it around. Curious what Ben is up to these days? This article provides a nice little summary.

Especially after visiting Sonoma last week (Kosta Browne, CIRQ, Radio-Coteau) I was going through California Pinot Noir withdrawal so this bottle hit the spot.

Envolve Winery is a collaboration between childhood friends Ben Flajnik, Danny Fay and Mike Benzinger (yes the Benzinger wine family). Just so there's no confusion: This isn't a winery that Bachelor Ben started to leverage his fame. Winemaking was his thing when he showed up for the show.

Leveraging his fame from The Bachelor to increase the visibility of his wines must be a tricky proposition. Wine Spectator has done a few articles about Flajnik over the yeras. They've rated the Envolve wines mostly in the 86-89 point range. However, I was surprised to find not a single tasting note for their 2011 Lennox Pinot on CellarTracker. That's unusual even for a low production wine.

I was glad I grabbed it for $35 since it carries a retail price of $59. After tasting the wine I was even more pleased. Here's my note:

2011 Envolve Winery Lennox Vineyard Pinot Noir
14.8% Alcohol
$59 Release Price

Appealing black cherry, cola, and dried herbs on the nose. The mouthfeel oscillates between round viscosity and ultra-fine tannins. Long, powerful finish. Very nice stuff.

91/100 WWP: Outstanding

Check 'em out:
Envolve Winery

Question of the Day: Have you tasted the Envolve wines? Visited them? If so, what did you think?


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