The 2010 Meritage is brimming with dark red and black fruits – black cherry, red cherry and ripe Santa Rosa plum. Sweet barrel spices such as nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon mingle with the fruit on the palate along with a hint of French lavender. This is a well-integrated wine with a full, fleshy mouthfeel and flavors that really explode in the mouth. A crowd pleaser.
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.
VINTAGE & VINEYARDS
Vintage 2010 welcomed the return of rainfall to the region with annual precipitation averaging about twenty percent above average. With few exceptions, the growing season was slightly cooler than normal overall with healthy grapevines appellation-wide. A heat spike at the end of August accelerated ripening in some vineyards and helped deliver a harvest of fine quality. Located 17 miles northwest of our winery in St. Helena, Beringer's Knights Valley vineyard features cobbly, well-drained soils that are well-suited to growing red Bordeaux varieties. The grapes for this wine, which includes Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot were harvested over a one month period between September 28 and October 27, 2010.
Kept in separate small lots until the final blending, the grapes for our Knights Valley Meritage were picked, quickly brought to the winery and placed in small stainless steel tanks for a 2-day cold soak designed to extract color and flavor from the grapes. The juice was then fermented dry and the young wine was placed in small French oak barrels (21% new) for fifteen months. Laurie's careful monitoring and then blending of these lots from harvest to bottle results in a unique wine with each vintage. The final blend from 2010 includes 55% Cabernet Sauvignon, 35% Cabernet Franc and 10% Merlot.