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 Blanc represents Beringer’s nod to a Graves-style blend, led by the classic white Bordeaux varietals, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon.
VINTAGE & VINEYARDS
The 2011 vintage began with a wet winter and cool spring that delayed bloom and reduced fruit set, resulting in lower yields in many parts of the North Coast region. Cool temperatures delayed ripening by several weeks, a timetable that continued through the cooler-than-usual summer season. Few high heat events occurred at any point in 2011, and growers managed more open vine canopies to ensure sunlight, warmth and good air circulation around the grape clusters. 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 Bordeaux varieties such as Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc. The grapes for this wine – which also includes small components of Chardonnay and Viognier -- were picked over a several week period from September 7 to October 2, 2011 as each vineyard block arrived at full maturity.
The grapes for this wine were picked, quickly brought to the winery and sent directly to press with no crushing. Winemaker Laurie Hook fermented the juice in a combination of French Nadalie and Damy oak barrels (30% new). During the 10
months of aging the lees were stirred every two weeks, bringing a nutty complexity to the wine. The vast majority of the wine (98.5%) also underwent malolactic fermentation, softening its natural acidity and encouraging a rich, creamy mouthfeel.
LAURIE’S TASTING NOTES
This wine leans toward melon and stone fruit flavors – apricot, peach and pear – picking up a floral component on the sweet mid-palate. Delicate oak notes of vanilla and brown sugar add to the rich mouthfeel, with an intriguing mineral component that keeps the wine fresh and bright. This is a rich, creamy yet well-balanced wine, with a long, juicy finish that begs for another sip.