Beringer’s 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve comes from the top selection from all their different holdings, with each vineyard aged separately for close to two years, then blended for quality. This blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc is a gorgeous example of the Private Reserve. Of course, it probably suffers from the fact that Beringer is part of a gigantic international conglomerate, but this is just a stunning wine – inky purple, with plenty of cassis, a hint of espresso, subtle background oak and forest notes. The color is opaque and the wine full-bodied and opulent, with sweet tannin and a multilayered mouthfeel. It has silky tannins, good freshness and uplifting acid, which should ensure a considerable longevity of 15-20 additional years. This is a stunner. 95+ (RP)
A great vintage of Private Reserve, this reflects the sensibilities of two winemakers: Ed Sbragia, who has shepherded the blend for three decades, and Laurie Hook, who joined Sbragia in 1986. Hook's influence on the Beringer style has been subtle but significant over the past several years. The tightness of this wine and the more overt minerality in its tannin provide a defined arc of flavor, with firmer edges than often appeared in the smooth, sleek Private Reserve blends of the past. A large portion of the wine comes from Howell Mountain (Bancroft Ranch, Steinhauer and Rancho del Oso make up 60 percent), with another 25 percent from Beringer's St. Helena Home Ranch. The detail in the tannin shapes the complexity of the wine, the dark fruit and licorice flavors smoothed by oak. It's a formidable Cabernet, deserving of ten years in the cellar to reach peak drinking.
Aging gracefully, with seductive aromas and complex flavors of blackberry, wild berry, currant, spice, cedar and licorice. Ends with a long, clean, refreshing finish that offers touches of crushed rock and loamy soil.—2005 California Cabernet blind retrospective (September 2015). Drink now through 2025. (JL, Web-2015)
Bright, medium ruby-red. Deep, scented aromas of black plum, cassis, flowers, minerals and licorice, plus a hint of spicecake. Very smooth, dry and seamless if a bit youthfully streamlined today. Shows a medicinal cast to its dark berry, licorice and menthol flavors. Still quite primary and in need of additional bottle age to soften. Finishes with a major dusting of slightly drying tannins. This is evolving very slowly and should go on for at least another 15 years. 91+ (ST)
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