Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1996
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
Original Wine Note: Since I began combining Cabernets from several vineyards for this reserve wine, now almost 20 years ago, Ive been citing the expression, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. In this vintage, the wine gives extra proof of that. Each vineyards Cabernet had its characteristic flavors, and the French oak barrels added their own notes, so the wine began with the classic notes of ripe cherries, cassis, light minty herbs, vanilla, spice and toasty oak. But it also has a whole other dimension of aromas and flavors: hints of cocoa, roasted coffee beans, even tobacco and licorice. In the nose and in the mouth, this wine just keeps revealing itself. Uncovering these layers is part of the magic of making and drinking wine, and one of the reasons my job is endlessly fascinating. -Ed Sbragia, Winemaster. 2007 Tasting Note:
Lots of cocoa, cedar, brown sugar, blackberry & sweet spices. Sweet tobacco and mint, with candied violets, vanilla. Luscious, long, rich finish. Pretty fruit and elegant.
Wine Enthusiast - "This wine is still young and precocious, but don’t judge it too quickly. Let it air in your glass, and watch how it changes. One minute it’s all cherries and smoke; the next it heaves up a great draught of currants, cocoa and cedar. It’s a big wine but deceptive; the tannins are airy and lilting, there’s charm and underneath, enormous complexity. It’s best left alone for a few more years, but it’s really very lovely now."
International Wine Cellar - "This wine is still young and precocious, but don't judge it too quickly. Let it air in your glass, and watch how it changes. One minute it's all cherries and smoke; the next it heaves up a great draught of currants, cocoa and cedar. It’s a big wine but deceptive; the tannins are airy and lilting, there’s charm and underneath, enormous complexity. It's best left alone for a few more years, but it’s really very lovely now."
The Wine Advocate - "The 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve reveals more concentration as well as higher tannin than the 1995. I know it is a trade-off, but I suspect this vintage will not be as sexy in its youthfulness as the 1995. The black ruby/purple-colored 1996 offers more licorice, in addition to the obvious levels of pain grille, jammy black currant fruit, and spice notes. Structured, full-bodied, and powerful, this may be a Private Reserve to cellar for several years, and consume over the subsequent 15-18."
Wine Spectator - "Complex aromas of dried currant, anise, herb and tar are rich and elegant on the palate, with the tannins softening. Has excellent structure. The best of two bottles.--1996 California Cabernet retrospective. Drink now through 2009."
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No winery or vineyard more thoroughly embodies the timeless appeal and seductive flavor of Napa Valley than Beringer Vineyards, Napa's benchmark producer since the establishment of the vineyard in 1876.
Now in its third century of crafting classic wines from Napa's finest appellations and vineyards, Beringer today is guided by the inspired partnership of celebrated Winemaster Emeritus Ed Sbragia and Winemaker Laurie Hook. Together, they craft Napa Valley wines that speak eloquently of the rich heritage of the Beringer Vineyard, while offering cutting-edge quality and contemporary elegance. The exquisite wines crafted at the Beringer Vineyards display a single minded dedication and pursuit of excellence instilled by its founder, Jacob Beringer. View all Beringer Vineyards Wines
About Napa ValleyView a map of Napa Valley wineries
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Notable FactsWithin the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just granted an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
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