Husband and wife team Phil and Collette Kaplan started making their own wine from their backyard vineyard in 2009. After studies at UC Davis, Phil began making wine commercially from select local vineyards in 2012. The couple are inspired by French wines and seek to make wines of sensuality and substance, the Velvet part, that are also in harmony with nature, the Bee part. From the far West of the SRH on a North facing bluff overlooking the valley, the Bentrock Vineyard is buffeted by wind, the soils are poor and the yields tiny, but produces intensely flavored grapes with high acidity. Aged for 2 years in barrel to concentrate flavors and now aged over 4 years in bottle, this wine has reached its “prime” so don’t hesitate to drink it now. What constitutes the “prime” in a wine’s development is very subjective: the primary flavors of fruit, herbs, and flowers diminish and change to a more dried version of themselves in time, while secondary flavors that arise from winemaking techniques such as barrel aging in new oak (vanillin, baking spice), malolactic fermentation (butter, cream, cheese) and lees aging (dough, brioche) will be more prominent as the primary flavors subside. Tertiary flavors that come from bottle aging present themselves as earthy, umami flavors (soy sauce, mushroom, nuts, honey and forest floor). This wine has a blend of primary and secondary flavors, with tertiary just beginning to appear. Most people appreciate a balance of fruit flavors with secondary and tertiary giving added layers of complexity. We’ve said it before; the best way to understand where your aging preference lies is to buy a case of ageable wine that you particularly like, store it properly and check in with it every six months or so.