The 1987 Reserve is a worthy competitor to the terrific 1986. The 1987's dark ruby/garnet color is followed by a super bouquet. There are huge aromas of chocolate, spicy new oak, herbs, cassis and tobacco in this beautifully scented wine. In the mouth, it is full-bodied, voluptuous, spicy, and crammed with fruit, glycerin, and enough tannin to support 15-16 years of cellaring. Like the 1986, the tannins are soft, and, fortunately, the acids are not shrill enough to prevent immediate drinkability. This is a skillfully made, complex Cabernet Sauvignon that will not linger long on retailers' shelves. (RP)
Back in 2002 when I participated in a very in-depth retrospective tasting of the 1987 California Cabernets meticulously organized by subscriber Michael Rockefeller, the Beringer Private Reserve was one of the undisputed stars of the tasting. Seven years on the wine continues to drink very well indeed, as it delivers a full blown and suave nose of a wine at its apogee in its mix of sweet black cherries, chocolate, tobacco smoke, a bit of cassis and a nicely measured framing of vanillin oak. On the palate the wine is full-bodied, plush and beautifully balanced, with a sappy core of fruit, very little remaining tannin, but such lovely balance that the wine just sings as it closes with fine length and grip on the refined finish. This is by no means the most complex example of Rutherford Bench Cabernet, but every note it hits is precise and pure. Lovely juice.
Good medium red. Sexy, pure aromas of redcurrant, mocha, leather and flint. Fine-grained and sweet, with nicely integrated acidity giving shape to the flavors of dark fruits, truffle, pepper, lavender and sassafras. Finishes with building tannins, excellent length and considerable finesse. This rather suave wine possesses a firm mountain spine. (ST)
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