Gayle Benson creates wine company in honor of late husband

Louisiana News

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA – JANUARY 05: New Orleans Saints owner Gayle Benson looks on during the NFC Wild Card Playoff game against the Minnesota Vikings at Mercedes Benz Superdome on January 05, 2020 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images)

New Orleans, La. (WDSU)- New Orleans Saints and Pelicans owner Gayle Benson announced a new wine company Thursday created in honor of her late husband Tom Benson.

Twelfth Labour Wine Company is a small winery initially producing a Napa Valley cabernet sauvignon and Sonoma County.

The inaugural release of the 2015 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon and 2016 Sonoma Chardonnay was limited to a small number of cases and will initially be offered in the New Orleans area only, according to Benson.

“My husband, Tom, had a great passion for wine and always talked about how much fun it would be to have his own vineyard that made wines just the way he liked them,” said Benson in an issued news release. “I asked him why he had not done it yet as every business venture that he truly had a passion for succeeded and energized him. Tom, laughing, agreed and began totaling up the number of industries he had been involved in. A vineyard would be his twelfth. With that, Twelfth Labour Vineyards was born. This has been a multi-year process originally started prior to his death and we are so grateful that he was able to taste these wines before he passed away. He thought they were perfect and it made him so happy. We are so excited to share the wines he loved with the city he loved so much.”

“While most vineyards are currently releasing 2017 and 2018 wines, we decided to hold our vintages for the very simple reason that they are more enjoyable with just a little more aging,” said John Ruston, winemaker for Twelfth Labour. “We will release in the spring of 2021, our limited 2016 reserve cabernet sauvignon, 2017 chardonnay and an additional 2016 cabernet sauvignon.”

The 2015 reserve cabernet sauvignon is described as a rich, dark wine that has an expressive bouquet of blackberries, lavender and mint. The flavors include cassis, black cherries and wild blueberries, with undertones of cedar, licorice, and dark chocolate. The wine’s texture is soft and silky with fine tannins.

The 2016 chardonnay is described as an opulent, luscious, expressive chardonnay, rich but perfectly proportioned. The wine’s flavors include pears, Golden Delicious apples, orange peel, butter, honey and marzipan. The wine has a long, focused, racy finish, according to a news release issued by the wine company.

Twelfth Labour Wines are cellared and bottled in Calistoga, California.

The 2016 reserve cabernet sauvignon, 2017 chardonnay and the 2016 cabernet sauvignon will be made sometime in 2021 through Benson’s distributor, Republic National Distributing.

A 2015 reserve cabernet and a 2016 chardonnay are currently in stock, according to Benson.


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