One of the great efforts of recent years, and not surprisingly so, is the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve, a blend of 81% from Howell Mountain, 11% from St. Helena and the rest Calistoga and Mount Veeder. It is a blend of 96% Cabernet Sauvignon 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot aged 20 months in 84% new French oak. At 15.2% natural alcohol, this is a big boy, but also classic Napa Cabernet Sauvignon with crème de cassis, graphite, licorice, and a touch of spicy oak. Winemaker Laurie Hook, who has since departed as winemaker, really hit a home run with this beauty. The wine could benefit from 7-10 years cellaring and probably last 30 to 40. When all is said and done, this is an instant classic, the wine full-bodied with oodles of crème de cassis, pen ink, graphite and baking spices. It is multi-dimensional, layered, and one of the all-time great Beringer Private Reserves - and there have been many. (RP)
A big, dense wine, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve is solid. Much fresher and more delineated than the single-vineyard wines, the 2013 captures the freshness and overall intensity of the year. Graphite, smoke, inky blue/purplish fruit, wild flowers and lavender meld together to form an attractive mélange of aromas and flavors.This was my first tasting at Beringer following Laurie Hook's move into the role of Winemaker Emeritus. Mark Beringer, the great-great grandson of founder Jacob Beringer, is the newly arrived Chief Winemaker. These are all Laurie Hook's wines, though. Needless to say, it will be fascinating to see what Beringer does with this extensive range. One of the first developments has been the introduction of wood fermentation vats for the 2015 harvest. (AG)
A dark colored red with intense aromas of blackberry, coffee, treacle tart and smoky oak. Full body and powerful with silky tannins and gorgeous fruit. Remains in balance with a lovely polished texture. Beautiful length. Drinkable now—and will deliver so much more with bottle age.
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