Beringer Vineyards has owned and farmed its Knights Valley vineyards since the mid-1960’s, when the Beringer family recognized that the cobbley, rocky alluvial soils were a great place to grow 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.
Vintage & Vineyard
The 2009 growing season was marked by a mild season overall. Light spring rains gave way to a serene, warm summer. Temperatures stayed even through August, giving the grapes an ideal timeframe in which to develop good acidity and phenolics. Overall yields were on the smaller side, making for intense varietal characteristics and flavor development immediately evident at Harvest. 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, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. Grapes for the 2009 Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon were harvested between September 22nd and October 26th.
To maintain the unique characteristics of the different lots from varying areas of the vineyard, Laurie kept them all separate through vinification and aging. Extended maceration created larger tannins to enhance the lush mouthfeel of the blend and extracted a maximum of color, aromas and flavors. The wines were then aged in small French Nevers oak barrels (28% new) for fifteen months and underwent malolactic fermentation for further development of texture and mouthfeel. After aging, Laurie blended the lots of Cabernet Sauvignon to highlight Knights Valley’s characteristically bright black cherry fruit.
Laurie's Tasting Notes
The 2009 Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon has aromas of clove, allspice, lavender, and cocoa. Juicy flavors of blackberry, sweet tobacco, and pink pepper are accented by fine, approachable tannins, nice body and a rich finish.