"The Benoni 2005 Merlot is that rare combination of bright, ripe, rich fruit and bold structure... This is a wine that will be immediately appealing for its rich, red and black fruit flavors, but will also age elegantly for a decade. Benoni winemaker Michael Havens pioneered Bordeaux varieties in Napa's cool Carneros region in the early 1980s, and he called 2005 "the best vintage I've seen in fifteen years...and one of the finest I've ever worked in. Period."
Havens blended this Merlot with Cabernet Franc in the style of some of the great St. Emilions, thus filling out the middle palate, adding length and a spicy, red-fruit accent to the flavors. With time in the bottle, the wonderful primary fruit flavors will dissipate, and this bottling will take on a tobacco and forest floor complexity, typical of the finest Merlots."