Beringer Vineyards has owned and farmed its Knights Valley vineyards since the mid-1960’s, when the Beringer family recognized that the cobbled, rocky alluvial soils created an ideal spot for growing high quality wine grapes. The Knights Valley designation was first used on a Beringer label in 1974. Beringer was instrumental in garnering official recognition for the area in 1983 as a premier wine growing region in the form of its own American Viticulture Area (AVA) designation. Knights Valley Meritage represents Beringer’s nod to a Right Bank blend, led by Merlot and supported by the other classic red Bordeaux varietals.
Vintage & Vineyards
The 2008 growing season began with very cool temperatures in the winter and heavy rains. Rainfall decreased in the spring and warmer temperatures in August and September got harvest rolling in early September with excellent flavor development. Located 17 miles northwest of the winery, Knights Valley vineyard is approximately 600 acres, and has volcanic, well-drained soils that are perfectly suited to Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. Grapes for the 2008 Meritage were harvested between September 26th and October 23rd.
As has become tradition, Laurie kept all of the lots separate during vinification and aging so that the subtle differences of each individual lot of the vineyard are exhibited. She tasted the lots frequently, closely monitoring fermentations and ensuring a rich, garnet color and silky tannins. The wines were then aged in small French oak barrels (27% new) for 15 months and underwent malolactic fermentation. Laurie’s careful monitoring and then blending of each of these lots from harvest to bottle results in a unique wine with each vintage.
Laurie's Tasting Notes
The 2008 Meritage has aromas of baked cherry and plums, candied violets and cinnamon. It is marked by a ripe, generous palette of plum spices and mocha, rounded out by a lush, lingering finish.