Wednesday, November 4, 2009

What's the HoseMaster Drinking?

Benovia 2006 Pinot Noir Savoy Vineyard Anderson Valley

Regular readers, and even those with constipation, will recall that I have a fondness for the Pinot Noirs from Benovia, a relative newcomer in the Russian River Valley. I don't recall the origin of the name "Benovia," though the fact that it's an anagram for "A Bovine" leads me to believe it's got something to do with cows, which is udder nonsense. Though for awhile I thought Benovia was the prescription drug Sally Field was taking for her calcium deficiency. Turns out that's Crow. Doesn't matter. Benovia, with Mike Sullivan at the helm, is producing compelling wine. He went outside of Sonoma for this beauty, all the way to Philo and the famous Savoy Vineyard, a vineyard whose grapes don't come cheap. They cost a lot of Philo dough. The appeal of the Anderson Valley Pinot Noirs is their complexity and delicacy. In the 2006, it's blackberries and orange peel with an undertone of earthiness and minerality. I like a Pinot Noir that's like this--the prettiest girl in the room, but completely in charge. That says more about me than the wine, I guess, but if you're able to spend $55 on wine these days, here's a winery worth exploring.

Disclaimer: I am not now, and have never been, a member of the Communist Party. I have no interest in Benovia Winery, but if I did I wouldn't tell you anyway.


Charlie Olken said...

If you are going to start doing wine reviews, I am going to start writing short stories.

By the by, completely agree about the Benovia wines, both Pinot and Chardonnay.

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Charlie,

Talk is cheap, my friend. You've been threatening to start your own blog for months now. Go ahead, put me, Heimoff, Wark, and all the other blogmeisters to shame.

I thought I might as well start chiming in about wines so that maybe I start getting some free samples. Wineries so desperate they send bloggers wine deserve consideration, or the death penalty, one or the other.

See you in Livermore. Watch out Steven Mirassou, I've got a blog and I'm not afraid to use it!

Charlie said...


Looking forward to our trip out to Livermore. I expect to learn more about blogging from you.

My tastes in blogging have changed from the time I thought about doing one. Still planning on it, but it will be less endless rounds of opinion and much higher in content.

I will tell you the whole sad story of the web site update that never happened.

Samantha Dugan said...

Sounds like a domestic Pinot that I would even like, the name is unfortunate...totally thought, "Is that the stuff The Flying Nun takes for her bones?" but sounds like a wine I should seek out. That may sound too much like a, "Great post" comment but....

Have fun in Livermore you two, would love to be a fly on the wall for that little trip!

Ron Washam, HMW said...

Hey Charlie,

A blog from you would be an instant must read (I love to read about must). You have instant credibility from your years in publishing, and credibility is the scarcest commodity in the blogosphere. Of course, what that brings is a parade of not-so-credible bloggers flooding your blog with comments so that some of your credibility might rub off on them. Sort of like cat fur.

I'm curious about how your taste in blogging has changed over the past few months. You're kind enough to comment here, and I am certainly an acquired taste. I am drawn to powerful "voices" in the wine blog world, but have found only a few. It's an odd mix out there, but, considering it reflects the human race, that's not much of a surprise. There are many bloggers who have passion but little talent. There are some with obvious talent but scant knowledge or experience. There are but a few with perseverance.

I'll say this, none of this would have been worth it but for the surprising friendships I've gained, including yours, but also Samantha's, Tom's, Arthur's, Anon 1's, Diane's, and a few more I hope to cultivate. That's been the only joy. Well, that and deflating a bunch of wine windbags. Though I've also had some dreadful experiences with a few self-serving douchebags as well (you know who you are, if you're still here reading now and then--assholes). But it's way more work than I expected, so when you say "content driven," my friend, I know what you're in for. Doing a Heimoff sort of blog would be easy for you--he trots out an opinion and waits for the attention freaks to chime in. But he does attract an articulate crowd, though all you have to do to get a lot of comments is mention Parker's demise, the 100 point scale, corks versus screwtops, or cult wines and you'll get tons of comments.

Content driven blogs, which mine is in a satirical sense not an informational sense, are tough. And discouraging. I constantly second guess myself about what direction to take HoseMaster, and, I think, it shows. I have no idea what I'm doing. And no idea why. So I'm the perfect wine blogger.

Livermore will be fun, I'm sure. I'm looking forward to tasting with you, meeting you, and talking wine and blogs. If only Samantha could join us!

Michael Wangbickler said...

Hey Ron,

Nice review for Benovia. The name of the winery is a combination of the owners' father's names: Ben Dewane and Novian Anderson. They chose it to honor their fathers, who had a lot of influence on their success.

Ron Washam, HMW said...


I actually knew that, but, hey, that's why they have marketing guys. I admire the wines and appreciate elegance when I taste it, but, man, tasting notes are the dullest thing on the Internet except for Facebook.

Thanks for joining in.

How come I'm not on your blogroll? Don't answer that. I already know.

Michael Wangbickler said...

For while I think I did have you on the blogroll, honestly can't remember. But a while ago I went through the list to make sure everyone was active. It might have been around the time you took your hiatus and I may have dropped you. But, you've been added (back?).

Charlie Olken said...


You still have time to reconsider that rash action.