“Having tasted a number of Touquette’s wines over the last year, it is pretty clear he is one of the emerging stars in Napa Valley.” ~ Antonio Galloni
Benoit Touquette is a rapidly rising talents in Napa Valley. Not only is he hailed as one of the best winemakers in the world, but as one of the best and biggest personalities in Napa!
When his dream of being a fighter pilot in the French army was dashed because of a medical test, Benoit tried his hand working at an auto body shop, in road construction and even in banking alongside his father. It wasn't until he got a job with a mobile bottling line in Bordeaux that he was introduced to the wine business and his career choice started to crystallize. While working toward his Masters diplomas in both Chemistry and Oenology, Benoit worked at several French wineries in a production capacity. His experience made two things clear to him: he didn’t want to work in Bordeaux, where opportunities were limited if you weren’t born into a wine family; he did want to be involved with making high end, limited production wines, wherever that might take him.
When Realm’s first winemaker left in 2010, Benoit offered to help his friend – and Realm’s founder -- Juan Mercado with blending the 2009 vintage wines. That offer turned into a full-time gig, and Benoit joined Realm in 2011. Robert Parker honored Benoit's talents this year by awarding two of his wines the coveted 100 point score.
"Benny" captivates people with his energy and work ethic. He's made wines at over a dozen high-profile wineries, bringing his enviable palate and passion to each new project. De Nux is very proud to bring the beautiful work of Benoit Touquette to Arkansas via Teeter-Totter wines!
Benny describes the deep and delightful 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon ($59.99) as "opaque ruby/purple-colored, exhibit[ing] tons of fruit on the nose: crème de cassis, black currants and blackberries intermixed with notes of baking spices, lavender, graphite and licorice. It is a medium to full-bodied, round and juicy wine that could be drunk now or over the next decade or more." This Cab is a deep, dark and serious ruby red on the outside, but a proud party-loving nonconformist on the inside. Not your grandma's Napa Cab.
- Cabernet Sauvignon: 75% sourced from Calistoga, Oakville, Rutherford, Yountville, and a little bit of Howell Mountain
- Cabernet Franc: 7% from Calistoga
- Syrah: 7% from Calistoga
- Zinfandel: 5% from Yountville
- Merlot: 4% from Saint Helena
- Petit Verdot: 2% Yountville
- Aged in 45% new oak
It can be found at the following locations:
- North Little Rock: 107 Liquor and Springhill Wine & Spirits
- Little Rock: Table 28, SO Restaurant, O'Looney's, and Grapevine Wines & Spirits
- Northwest Arkansas: Macadoodle's
The 2013 Teeter-Totter Chardonnay ($32.99) is a true delight:
"Bright yellow with a faint green tint, this wine hooks you in with aromas of toast, honey, and baked Golden apples on the nose. Buttered popcorn and brioche make their entrance next, with a side of fresh lemon custard that's creamy and bright at the same time. Biscuits and citrus peel carry the finish, which unfolds at its own deliciously slow pace. Bottom line: this wine is rich, smooth, and sexy -- and it knows it."
- Fruit composition: Napa and Sonoma
- Aged in 45% new oak, 2/3 malolactic fermentation
The 2014 Rosé ($20) is Teeter-Totter's first pink wine, and with this one they've hit it out of the park!
"… Aromas of a summertime punch bowl--fresh red fruit, lollipop, citrus and pineapple, with candied raspberry to garnish the glass. Wild salmon-colored, this wine's great acidity captures your attention and holds the wild fruit together. A ridiculously long raspberry finish makes sure you won't be forgetting this dangerous little redhead anytime soon."
- Blend: Saignée of Syrah, Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, with a hint of Sauvignon Blanc
Look for Teeter-Totter Chardonnay and Rosé to hit the shelves next week!