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Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon (1.5L Magnum) 1997

Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley, California
  • RP95
  • WE93
  • RP97
  • V95
  • JS94
  • RP96
  • JS95
  • WS93
  • D95
  • WW92
  • RP91
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Winemaker Notes

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

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Critical Acclaim

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RP 95
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.

WE 93
Wine Enthusiast

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Beringer

Beringer Vineyards

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Beringer Vineyards, , California
Beringer
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.

Home to the world’s most powerful wines made from the Nebbiolo grape, the Barolo village of Piedmont has long been known as “the wine of kings, the king of wines.” There are two predominant soil types here, which distinguish Barolo from neighboring Barbaresco as well as from the lesser surrounding areas. Compact and fertile Tortonian sandy marls define the vineyards to the west, typically resulting in fresher, fruitier, and softer wines that are approachable relatively early on in their evolution. This is sometimes referred to as the “feminine” side of Barolo and is closer in style to Barbaresco with its elegant perfume. On the eastern side of the region, Helvetian sandstone clay soils are chalkier and less fertile, producing age-worthy wines with full body and structured tannins—the more “masculine” style. The best Barolo wines need 10-15 years before they are ready to drink, and can further age for several decades.

Barolo is one of the world’s most distinctive red wines, and experienced tasters typically have no trouble picking it out of a lineup. In addition to Nebbiolo’s signature “tar and roses” aroma, one can expect to find complex notes of strawberries, cherries, leather, white truffles, anise, fresh and dried herbs, tobacco, violets, plum, and much more. Despite its deceptively light garnet color, Barolo has a full presence on the palate and plenty of tannin and acidity. The traditional style of Barolo relies on the use of neutral large wooden vats for aging, which do not impart flavor to the wine and preserve the natural character of the Nebbiolo grape. Meanwhile, a more modern, “international” style of Barolo utilizes small French oak barrels to add spicy, woody flavors and a softer texture resulting in earlier drinkability.

Nebbiolo

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Responsible for some of the most elegant and age-worthy wines in the world, Nebbiolo is the star variety of northern Italy’s Piedmont region. Grown throughout the area as well as in neighboring Valle d’Aosta and Valtellina, it is at its best in the Piedmontese villages of Barolo and Barbaresco. Nebbiolo is a finicky grape, and needs a very particular soil type in order to thrive. Outside of Italy, it often fails to show the captivating aromas for which it is so beloved, but some success has been achieved in parts of California.

In the Glass

Nebbiolo is an elegant variety with mouthwatering acidity and a compelling perfume of rose petals, violets, fresh tar, licorice, clay, and dried cherries. Light in color and body, Nebbiolo is a more powerful wine than one might expect, and its firm tannins typically need time to mellow. With age, it develops a velvety texture and a stunningly complex bouquet.

Perfect Pairings

Nebbiolo’s love affair with food starts in Piedmont, which is home to the Slow Food movement and some of Italy’s best produce. The region is famous for its white truffles and wild boar ragu, both of which make for excellent pairings with Nebbiolo.

Sommelier Secret

If you love Barolo and Barbaresco but can’t afford to drink them every night, you can try the more wallet-friendly, earlier-drinking Langhe Nebbiolo. But Piedmont’s best-kept secret is the northern part of the region, where outstanding earthy and rustic versions of the variety (known here as “Spanna”) are produced in Ghemme and Gattinara.

SSR84484_1997 Item# 84484

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