' Beringer - Beringer 1980 - 1989 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
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1980

33 years of private reserve

1980 Private Reserve from time of release

1980 Beringer Private reserve Cabernet

Vintage Notes from time of release

Winter rains persisted into the spring, keeping the growing season cool, but warm Indian Summer weather continuing through to the later-than-normal harvest kept the sugars up and balanced with the acids in generous fruit with moderate tannins. Beringer bottled separate Private Reserves, both 100-percent Cabernet Sauvignon, from two vineyards: Lemmon-Chabot and State Lane. The State Lane Vineyard Private Reserve is Merlot-like, but with lighter components, a green pepper edge and hints of burnt coffee. The Lemmon-Chabot Vineyard Private Reserve has a big nose with coffee and spice notes and rich Cabernet Sauvignon fruit; in the mouth, it still offers youthful tannins and high fruit extract.

PR Cab components: 100% State Lane


Tasting Notes

  • Sundried tomatoes, leather, soy, earth, caramelized Maui onion
  • Dusting of cocoa powder and slight smokiness and herbal character
  • Sweetness in mid-palate and juicy fruit
  • Bright, but vertical and angular

Drink or hold?
Drink or hold

Hear what the winemakers have to say

Winemaster Emeritus, Ed Sbragia, Chief Winemaker, Laurie Hook and Assistant Winemaker, Chris Louton share their thoughts as they taste through the Beringer Retrospective. This is a great opportunity to hear what the winemakers say today about the older vintage wines.

1981 Private Reserve from time of release

1981 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintage Notes from time of release

Maturation of the grapes was accelerated by a warming trend beginning in May, and warm, dry conditions led to an early harvest of ripe fruit that was well balanced and supple. The medium-bodied wines have aged well, leading to an increased appreciation of the vintage. For the first time, the Private Reserve was a blend of wines from the Chabot and State Lane vineyards to take advantage of the unique qualities of each. It is now showing intense flavors with high extract and phenolics, manifested in hints of mint, dried herbs and coffee.

PR Cab components: 65% State Lane, 20% Chabot, 15% Knights Valley


Tasting Notes

  • Ed Sbragia “One of the biggest, baddest wines we ever put in the bottle”
  • Chalky, toffee, black olive, blackberry
  • Grippiness level steps up
  • Menthol & cedar with savory at the end

Drink or hold?
Drink or hold

Hear what the winemakers have to say

Winemaster Emeritus, Ed Sbragia, Chief Winemaker, Laurie Hook and Assistant Winemaker, Chris Louton share their thoughts as they taste through the Beringer Retrospective. This is a great opportunity to hear what the winemakers say today about the older vintage wines.

1982 Private Reserve from time of release

1982 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintage Notes from time of release

A very wet winter and spring and cool weather in July and August that slowed the ripening of the fruit made for a difficult vintage. The crop was above normal in size, despite rain during harvest. The latest ripening Cabernet Sauvignon produced wines of good flavor and color extract. The Private Reserve was blended from wines from Chabot, State Lane and St. Helena (later called Home) vineyards. The wine shows clarity of fruit concentration with aromatic violets on the nose, cherry, spice and mint flavors and considerable tannin.

PR Cab components: 40% State Lane, 30% Chabot, 25% St. Helena Home, 5% Knights Valley


Tasting Notes

  • Has lots of time left, yet showing very nicely right now
  • Cherry, cassis, “Brambleberry", bit of licorice with sweet tanning
  • Still tastes young, certain elegance about it
  • “I always liked this vintage” – ed (rainy vintage)
  • Showing very nicely

Drink or hold?
Drink or hold

Hear what the winemakers have to say

Winemaster Emeritus, Ed Sbragia, Chief Winemaker, Laurie Hook and Assistant Winemaker, Chris Louton share their thoughts as they taste through the Beringer Retrospective. This is a great opportunity to hear what the winemakers say today about the older vintage wines.

1983 Private Reserve from time of release

1983 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintage Notes from time of release

Uneven weather patterns-record rainfalls for the Napa Valley through early spring, a cool summer, rain in late August and mid-September, and Indian Summer weather in October required expert timing and labor-intensive, selective picking of the loosely clustered Cabernet to produce wines with no dilution of flavor. The Private Reserve again combined wines from the Chabot, State Lane and St. Helena Home vineyards. The wine is now a favorite-proof that a difficult vintage should not be written off. Everything is in balance, with classic, cedar notes that are kept in check by still-sweet layers of dark fruits.

PR Cab components: 39% St. Helena Home, 32% Chabot, 29% State Lane


Tasting Notes

  • One of the lighter vintages and lowest in tannins we've ever put in bottle, and had bright ruby color
  • Great balance between fruit and oak
  • Leather, earth, cassis, mint, cocoa, sundried tomato
  • Black fruit core and nice long finish

Drink or hold?
Drink

Hear what the winemakers have to say

Winemaster Emeritus, Ed Sbragia, Chief Winemaker, Laurie Hook and Assistant Winemaker, Chris Louton share their thoughts as they taste through the Beringer Retrospective. This is a great opportunity to hear what the winemakers say today about the older vintage wines.

1984 Private Reserve from time of release

1984 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintage Notes from time of release

At the time, this was considered the best vintage for Cabernet Sauvignon in the Napa Valley since 1978. Warm to hot temperatures led to an early harvest that yielded big, ripe wines. The Private Reserve again included wines from the Chabot, State Lane and St. Helena Home vineyards. The wine is concentrated but more accessible than the wines in the surrounding vintages; it has ripe, young fruit aromas and flavors—primarily black cherry—and considerable length of flavor on the palate.

PR Cab components: 45% St. Helena Home, 29% State Lane, 22% Chabot, 4% Laird


Tasting Notes

  • Dried cranberry, cocoa, licorice, sweet spice aroma
  • Very jammy vintage for first 15 years, now lots of dried cherries and a bit more grip–chewier tannins accentuated right now
  • Good balance between fruit and cedar

Drink or hold?
Drink or hold

Hear what the winemakers have to say

Winemaster Emeritus, Ed Sbragia, Chief Winemaker, Laurie Hook and Assistant Winemaker, Chris Louton share their thoughts as they taste through the Beringer Retrospective. This is a great opportunity to hear what the winemakers say today about the older vintage wines.

1985 Private Reserve from time of release

1985 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintage Notes from time of release

This vintage surpassed both 1978 and 1984, with near-perfect conditions throughout the growing season. At harvest, it produced wines with rich, well-balanced flavors and smooth, integrated tannins. Wines from the Chabot, State Lane and St. Helena Home vineyards were again blended for the Private Reserve. Now perfectly integrated, the wine is quintessentially balanced with black and red fruits, coffee, chocolate and spice notes — a classic.

PR Cab components: 39% State Lane, 33% Chabot, 28% St. Helena Home


Tasting Notes

  • Yummy”, with cedar, leather, berry and dark, bitter chocolate
  • Rich, round luscious with blackberry and chocolate coated espresso beans
  • Longtime vineyard Manager Bob Steinhauer’s favorite vintage – he and Ed used to argue over who got this one

Drink or hold?
Drink or hold

Hear what the winemakers have to say

Winemaster Emeritus, Ed Sbragia, Chief Winemaker, Laurie Hook and Assistant Winemaker, Chris Louton share their thoughts as they taste through the Beringer Retrospective. This is a great opportunity to hear what the winemakers say today about the older vintage wines.

1986 Private Reserve from time of release

1986 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintage Notes from time of release

Another superb vintage yielded ripe, full-bodied, well-structured wines. An extended growing season began with the earliest bud break in recent history, followed by warm temperatures through March and April, cool temperatures that enhanced flavor development through the summer, and then warm temperatures again in time for full maturity at harvest. For the first time, wines produced from the Bancroft Ranch Vineyard, including 1 percent of Cabernet Franc, were added to the Private Reserve along with wines from Chabot, State Lane and St. Helena Home vineyards. The wine is always a show-stopper, complex and rich in flavor. The oak is not pronounced; the tannins are slightly ripe and the fruit is juicy and vibrant.

Note: Wine Spectator Wine of the Year in 1990

PR Cab components: 42% St Helena Home, 23% State Lane, 21% Bancroft Ranch, 14% Chabot, 1% Cabernet Franc


Tasting Notes

  • Dried cherry, sundried tomatoes, leather, minty, peppery qualities, soy
  • Dried herbs, maple/ unsulfured molasses, caramelized sugar
  • Tasted it in 2000 and it is doing better now, much more classic vintage (less California-ish)

Drink or hold?
Drink or hold

Hear what the winemakers have to say

Winemaster Emeritus, Ed Sbragia, Chief Winemaker, Laurie Hook and Assistant Winemaker, Chris Louton share their thoughts as they taste through the Beringer Retrospective. This is a great opportunity to hear what the winemakers say today about the older vintage wines.

1987 Private Reserve from time of release

1987 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintage Notes from time of release

A very dry year combined with warm temperatures to produce a light crop of small grape clusters for the Cabernet Sauvignon, yielding a wine with rich, complex flavors and firm tannins. Wines from the Chabot, St. Helena Home and Bancroft vineyards made up the final blend for the Private Reserve; a small percentage of exceptional quality wine from the Sorensen Vineyard in St. Helena was added for its fruity, spicy flavors and soft tannins. The blend includes 7 percent Cabernet Franc. The wine is high in intensity and complexity of Cabernet flavors. It is a chewy, big wine with lots of tannin and sweet, dark fruits, tarry tobacco and chocolate. One of Ed Sbragia's favorites.

PR Cab components: 56% Bancroft Ranch, 25% Chabot, 13% St. Helena Home, 6% State Lane


Tasting Notes

  • Ed's favorite vintage
  • Such a big vintage, classic California vintage
  • Still tannic, everything’s intact
  • Dark black fruit core with lots of spice, cedar, white pepper, menthol and rich cocoa

Drink or hold?
Hold

Hear what the winemakers have to say

Winemaster Emeritus, Ed Sbragia, Chief Winemaker, Laurie Hook and Assistant Winemaker, Chris Louton share their thoughts as they taste through the Beringer Retrospective. This is a great opportunity to hear what the winemakers say today about the older vintage wines.

1988 Private Reserve from time of release

1988 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintage Notes from time of release

Dry conditions in February and March and an unseasonably warm spring followed by a cooler-than-normal summer led to another very light crop of loose-clustered grapes yielding wines of medium body and intensity. The Private Reserve included wines from Beringer's principal Cabernet vineyards—Chabot, St. Helena Home, State Lane and Bancroft—and 2 percent Cabernet Franc. The wine is beautifully made, with a mysterious, refined, perfumed nose and an evident development in complexity, flavor and structure. It is one of the great successes of a difficult vintage.

PR Cab components: 34% State Lane, 27% Chabot, 20% Bancroft Ranch, 19% St. Helena Home, 2% Cabernet Franc


Tasting Notes

  • Mushroom, savory characters
  • Cedar, dried herb and slight licorice
  • Opens up and shows blackberry and vanilla
  • Finish a bit short, lighter vintage

Drink or hold?
Drink or hold

Hear what the winemakers have to say

Winemaster Emeritus, Ed Sbragia, Chief Winemaker, Laurie Hook and Assistant Winemaker, Chris Louton share their thoughts as they taste through the Beringer Retrospective. This is a great opportunity to hear what the winemakers say today about the older vintage wines.

1989 Private Reserve from time of release

1989 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintage Notes from time of release

Rains plagued the Napa Valley in March and April and then again in September, but careful selection of the grapes finally harvested during the October Indian Summer redeemed the vintage. The Private Reserve included wines from the Chabot, State Lane, St. Helena Home and Bancroft Ranch vineyards. The blend also included 3 percent Cabernet Franc from Bancroft, and for the first and only time to date, 1 percent of Bancroft Merlot. The wine shows youthful, accessible fruit; it is similar to the 1984 Private Reserve but with more tannins, which are soft and mouth-coating, supporting the sweet red fruit flavors.

PR Cab components: 35% Chabot, 25% Bancroft Ranch, 22% St. Helena Home, 18% State Lane


Tasting Notes

  • Been known as a tannic and tough vintage
  • Earthy leather, forest floor, roasted artichoke, savory
  • Somewhat subdued aromas, but mouthcoating blackberry
  • Tannins are a bit dry

Drink or hold?
Hold

Hear what the winemakers have to say

Winemaster Emeritus, Ed Sbragia, Chief Winemaker, Laurie Hook and Assistant Winemaker, Chris Louton share their thoughts as they taste through the Beringer Retrospective. This is a great opportunity to hear what the winemakers say today about the older vintage wines.

 
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