Each Chardonnay lot was kept separate throughout the aging process to retain the individual flavor characteristics. After gentle crushing, Winemaker Laurie Hook fermented the juice in French oak barrels (77 percent new) to enhance the natural richness in
the wine. The lees were stirred weekly to develop a nutty-toasty character and fully integrate the oak flavors, encouraging a good balance. All of the wines were put through malolactic fermentation to encourage a lush creaminess.
After 9 months aging, Winemaster Ed Sbragia
and Winemaker Laurie chose the richest, most expressive lots and blended them to create an intensely aromatic and flavorful
wine featuring lemon zest, sweet vanilla, baked apple and spicy oak aromas layered with rich flavors of pineapple, and hints of
minerality and spice that lead into a long and bright citrus-infused finish.
Wine Spectator - " #47 Wine Spectator Top 100 of 2008
Elegant, rich and complex, with supple layers of ripe pear, apple, melon and appealing ginger spice notes that unfold gracefully and end with a succulent array of flavors, polish and finesse. Drink now through 2010. 21,100 cases made."
The Wine Advocate - "The 2006 Chardonnay Private Reserve is not nearly as oaky and caramelized as previous examples of this cuvee. It is a much more elegantly-styled white with a nicely delineated nose of peach blossoms, honeysuckle, apple skins, and brioche. Full-bodied with beautiful purity as well as a long, harmonious finish, it can be enjoyed over the next 2-3 years.
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
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.
Within 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.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country unto 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.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Crisp
Light to medium bodied wines that are high in acid and light to medium fruit. Typically no oak.
Fruity & Smooth
Light to medium bodied wines with lots of juicy fruit, typically medium acid and medium oak.
Rich & Creamy
Full bodied wines that have typically undergone malo-lactic fermentation and/or spent time in oak.