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Professional Ratings: 97 The Wine Advocate, 94 International Wine Cellar
Region: Napa Valley, California
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Other Info: Collectible Wines
Style: Big & Bold
Item no. 109131
With Cabernet of this quality, the winemaking team believes in taking a minimalist approach to winemaking. Vinifying the fruit from each vineyard separately, Ed and Laurie used tailored pump-over techniques for optimal extraction, and then aged the wines in hand-selected, custom-toasted barrels of new French Nevers oak. They then aged the lots separately for just under two years before selecting the blend – one of exceptional depth, complexity and elegance. The final blend has aromas of Bing cherries, cocoa, cedar, allspice and mint. Generous cherry, blackberry and plum flavors are complemented by velvety tannins, resulting in a superbly long and elegant finish.
Production: 9,700 cases; Alcohol: 14.5%; Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon; Harvest Dates: October 12 to November 17. Composed of 31% Bancroft Ranch, 25% St. Helena Home Vineyard, 17% Steinhauer Ranch, 8% Rancho del Oso, and smaller amounts from Marston Ranch, Chabot Vineyard and Lampyridae, the 2005 is one of my all-time favorite Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserves. A late, long harvest followed a cold summer, late flowering and no heat until September and October. However, the end of the growing season was nearly perfect, hence the late harvest. Winemakers Ed Sbragia and Laurie Hook had the patience to wait for full phenolic maturity, which is evident in this great Private Reserve. Still a baby in terms of development, it is reminiscent of a first or second-growth Pauillac. Celestial notes of black currants, camphor, graphite, cocoa, white chocolate and spice box are all present in this full-bodied, extravagantly rich, multidimensional Cabernet. Although still primary, it is very classic with terrific purity, texture and length. It will need another decade to hit full maturity, but should easily last 15-20 years thereafter.
Good bright medium ruby. Knockout nose combines black raspberry, minerals and sweet spices. Lush and creamy, with explosive, fully ripe dark fruit and mineral flavors and terrific back-end lift. Finishes with big, broad, fine-grained tannins and impressive length. The goal here is not to make an early-drinking wine but one with sweet tannins and thoroughly ripe fruit, notes winemaker Laurie Hook, but I find this sexy from the start.