Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5L Magnum) 1997
Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
Vintage 1997 has already been recognized as exceptional within a decade of outstanding vintages, producing wines of deep concentration and rich tannins that promise longevity. The yields were generous, as were the flavors. Said vineyard manager Bob Steinhauer, "everyone seems to have focused on the size of the crop, but I've been more impressed with the quality. We saw spectacular fruit across the varietals." The grapes for this wine were harvested from September 12 through October 11.
Each year since 1981 Beringer Winemaster Ed Sbragia creates his Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon by choosing the most expressive fruit from a handful of vineyards. His ultimate goal is a wine with a complex aroma, flavor and structural profile that layers the individual vineyard characteristics into a cohesive and balanced whole.
Individual lots of Cabernet Sauvignon from Bancroft Ranch, Tre Colline Vineyard (both on Howell Mountain), Chabot Vineyard, and St. Helena Home (all regular Private Reserve contributors) were blended with a small portion from the Marston Ranch on Spring Mountain
"For over 20 years I've made Private Reserve Cabernet and I always enjoy the process. It was especially rewarding in 1997 because we had such great, ripe fruit to work with. In the days leading up to harvest, the fruit I tasted in the vineyards really got my adrenaline going. When we finally decided to pick, as each lot came into the crush pad, I got more excited—the concentration of flavors was phenomenal! Mouthwatering cherry, blackberry and sweet plum flavors were balanced with a mature phenolic structure and the resulting wine has a juicy-ness factor that I think shows perfect acid-to-fruit balance. I'm always looking for intense flavors and density and this wine has both qualities in spades."
-Ed Sbragia, Winemaster
The Wine Advocate - "Production: 24,000 cases; Alcohol: 14%; Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon; Harvest Dates: September 12 to October 11. A bountiful, nearly perfect crop of consistently high quality grapes was created by flawless weather with moderate, but steady temperatures throughout the summer and beautiful weather in September and October. The result is a great vintage in both quality and quantity. The fruit came from five separate vineyards, Bancroft Ranch and Tre Colline on Howell Mountain, Chabot and St. Helena Home Vineyard, and for the first time, a small portion came from the Marston Ranch on Spring Mountain. Still densely purple-colored, the 1997 exhibits wonderful plum, blackberry, cedar, spice and subtle smoky oak notes, a gorgeously opulent texture, full-bodied power and hints of roasted espresso and white chocolate in the flavors. This beauty can be drunk now and over the next 12-15+ years. One of the all-time great Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserves, it also has the highest production to date of this cuvee."
Vinous / Antonio Galloni - "Saturated ruby-red. Aromas of blueberry liqueur, violet, licorice and menthol. Fat, rich and full, displaying generous, lush flavors of raspberry and dried spices. This voluminous wine is a bit aggressive without coming across as hot. As round and sweet as it is, it also possesses substantial, late-arriving, dusty tannins and plenty of supporting acidity--actually higher than the 1995, according to Laurie Hook. Production of this bottling was the highest ever at 24,125 cases."
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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