Frequent readers of Vino in Love know that most of the time I review and write about Italian wine but today I make an exception. A few days ago, I visited my family and one evening my father suggested that I should pick a bottle of wine from his cellar for our dinner. His cellar is very impressive and I had a hard time deciding on which wine to chose.
After half an hour I was still looking through his treasures – some of the bottles were even older than I am and even though I was tempted to pick one of those I decided to go with a 2001 Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon.
In 2004 I travelled with my family to the States and we visited the Beringer ranch with its famous Rhine House in Napa Valley. Back then I had no interest in wine and I was so happy when we left again. All this fermentated grape juice didn’t make much sense to me. Nevertheless, I still remember the visit quite well and before leaving my parents bought a few bottles Beringer that they brought back to Germany.
I heard about the Beringer Private Reserve before but I never had the opportunity to try it and I certainly didn’t expect that my first reaction would be this:
— VinoInLove (@VinoInLove) May 10, 2014
Today I will try to put the beauty of this wine into words. Fortunately, I am not limited to 140 characters for this. Let’s get started.
In the late 19th century two Germans, Jacob and Frederick Beringer, left their hometown Mainz and sailed for the New World. After arriving in New York, they decide to traveled to California, purchased around 200 acres of land in Napa Valley and opened a winery.
In the 19th century, most vineyards in the United States were cultivated by European immigrants and the largest group of them was German so it was no surprise that the Beringer brothers decided to get involved in the wine business. For more information about the origins of wine making in Napa Valley I recommend you head over to Immigrant Entrepreneurship and read their article on Jacob Beringer.
In present day, Beringer is the oldest continuously operating winery in Napa Valley County producing a large range of wines. Their most prestigious line is the so-called Private Reserve, which consists of a Chardonnay and a Cabernet Sauvignon.
The 2001 Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is a blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc from six different vineyards. However almost 40% of the grapes were grown at the Steinhauer Ranch. The wine aged 23 months in French oak.
Prior to drinking the wine was decanted for a little over two hours.
In the glass there was a deep garnet red color. 14.2% was the label listed alcohol by volume.
The nose was harmonic, very intense, elegant and overall perfect. A heavy aroma of blackcurrant, some tobacco leafs, a bit of blackberries, a hint of ripe cherries and some spices. The bouquet evolved with some additional time and the tobacco leafs became less intense and aromas of dark chocolate started to become more dominant.
On the palate, dry with extremely mellow, pleasing tannins. The 2001 Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon had a big body was very well-strcutured and had an incredible complexity. Good acidity that kept the wine vivid. There were notes of cocoa and raspberries. Very elegant Cabernet Sauvignon which tasted as delicious as it smelled. Amazing, never-ending finish. The 2001 Private Reserve is perfectly ready to drink now. It’s fantastic!
The Bad News
The Bad News is the price tag. Beringer sells its 2009 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon for 160$ per bottle. I was told that back in 2004 the the 2001 vintage was already rather pricy but it was nowhere near that price.
Now the question arises whether this price for a single bottle is justified or not. This is a question I cannot answer for you but I am curious what your opinion on this matter is.
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