Beringer Winemaker Laurie Hook chooses from seven reserve vineyards to craft this wine that showcases the best of each vineyard’s terroir. Beringer’s remarkable collection of vineyards is the culmination of a 20 year partnership between Winemaster Emeritus Ed Sbragia and Bob Steinhauer, longtime Beringer vineyard manager. Ed and Bob worked tirelessly to identify vineyards that would produce the rich, intensely colored and flavored Cabernet Sauvignon grapes required for the Private Reserve. Just as critical as the relationship between viticulture and winemaking, is the collaboration between Winemaker Laurie Hook and Ed Sbragia that has shaped the Reserve portfolio. Laurie and Ed have been working together since the 1980’s, and the 2006 honors the consistent vision of this talented team. Bancroft Ranch is a major component of the final blend, since replanting the vineyard in the mid to late 90’s. The density of flavor and structure lent by this Howell Mountain vineyard has been an integral part of Beringer’s Reserve program since 1986. Beringer’s famed St. Helena Home vineyard delivers the fleshy, black fruit mid-palate.
The 2006 growing season began with a slightly delayed budbreak after quite a bit of Winter and Spring rain. Summer was moderately warm, with the exception of a heat wave in July that helped speed the growth of the vines. Mild weather continued through much of harvest, allowing for consistent and deliberate ripening of the grapes. The 2006 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon grapes were harvested from September 29 to November 7.
The Beringer reserve vineyards offer Cabernet of such quality that a minimalist approach to winemaking has long defined this special blend. Vinifying the fruit from each vineyard separately, Laurie used tailored pump-over techniques for optimal extraction, and then aged the wines in hand-selected, custom-toasted barrels of new French Nevers oak. Each lot was aged for almost two years before selection of the final blend, to allow each vineyard to express the depth of its unique terroir. The final blend has aromas of currant, nutmeg and a hint of licorice. Flavors of cassis, raspberry and cocoa are surrounded by refined tannins and a remarkably elegant, supple finish.