What happens when three experienced wine guys get together? They create distinctive wines they enjoy and think others will too. Meet BNA Wine Group, LLC, a small team that blends knowledge and passion to create wines notable for their taste and value. Together, fourth-generation wine and spirits distributor John Hooper, second-generation winemaker Tony Leonardini and industry veteran Gary Carr are challenging ordinary wine-making practices. They discover the right vineyards, retain the natural characters in the grape, coax the best wine in the bottle, and then offer the wine at a great value.
The 2011 Butternut Chardonnay grapes were sourced from a number of different California vineyards to broaden the flavor profile and enhance your drinking experience. The growing regions include Napa, Sonoma, Sierra Foothills and Monterey. Aromas of peach, hazelnut and spiced candied apple leap from the glass. On the palette, Butternut exhibits round, creamy notes of fig, butterscotch and sweet oak. The grapes were picked at optimum time and fermented in stainless steel. The wine was later aged on French oak.
Winemaker Tony Leonardini is also a volunteer fire fighter in Napa Valley. Ask and he will share stories about traveling the state to put out fire. The “Volunteer” wine salutes that spirit. As Tony says, “it’s easy to donate a dollar, but it’s a lot harder to volunteer an hour.” The 2011 growing season was fairly mild, with minimal heat waves, so the grapes ripened consistently. Leonardini harvested the weekend before the Pineapple Express brought five inches of rain in two days and one of the largest storms growers ever experienced in October. The 2011 Volunteer Cabernet Sauvignon was blended with small amounts of Merlot and Cabernet Franc.
There are expectations of Napa Valley Cabernet. A specific set of “rules” must be followed. The grapes must be picked at a certain sugar range, fermented at the exact temperature for a certain amount of time and rest several months in the perfect combination of oak barrels. BNA Wine group follows all of the rules, except they break one rule most wineries won’t… the price.