' Beringer - Beringer 1990-1999 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
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1990

33 years of Private Reserve Cabernets

1990 Private Reserve from time of release

1990 Beringer Private reserve Cabernet

Vintage Notes from time of release

Winter rainfall was below normal, suggesting a return to drought, but the growing season was generally mild, and the resulting small crop yielded rich, concentrated wines. The Private Reserve, which included 1 percent Cabernet Franc, was blended of wines from the Chabot, St. Helena Home and Bancroft Ranch vineyards. This is a big, fruity wine-gorgeous and on a very big scale. It shows great harmony and the impeccable balance of fruit and oak similar to the 1985 Private Reserve.

PR Cab components: 47% Bancroft Ranch, 27%Chabot, 25% St. Helena Home, 1% Bancroft Cabernet Franc


Tasting Notes

  • Lighter than Ed remembers it
  • Dark fruit jamminess, yet fruit is subdued compared to past
  • Pine, cedar, peppery, cocoa, mint, spicy, savory, menthol and tertiary flavors
  • Hibernating right now, best to hold

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.

1991 Private Reserve from time of release

1991 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintage Notes from time of release

One of the longest, coolest growing seasons in memory—in an area where long and cool growing seasons are common—produced intense, tannic and well-balanced wines with great aging potential. Again, the Chabot, St. Helena Home and Bancroft vineyards were the source of the Cabernet Sauvignon for the Private Reserve, with the addition of 3 percent Cabernet Franc from the Bancroft Ranch vineyard. The wine is highly concentrated and extractive, with expressive, big, dark fruit aromas and flavors. It has very fine, integrated tannins and a long finish.

PR Cab components: 40% Bancroft, 30% St Helena Home, 27% Chabot, 3% Bancroft Cabernet Franc


Tasting Notes

  • Gorgeous, but it’s a baby (still youthful)
  • Chocolate and spice, blackberry, black cherry, cassis, mint, licorice and cedar
  • Intense flavors, firm tannins and good structure

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.

1992 Private Reserve from time of release

1992 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintage Notes from time of release

This vintage is considered excellent to outstanding in the Napa Valley. A lack of rain at critical points in the season led to a crop of ripe, rich fruit that produced well-balanced and supple wines. More than half of the Cabernet Sauvignon for the Private Reserve, as well as the 3 percent Cabernet Franc added to the blend, came from the Bancroft Ranch vineyard. The balance of the Cabernet Sauvignon came from the Chabot, St. Helena Home and State Lane vineyards. The wine is opulent, with a more forward style than the 1991 Private Reserve — big and forceful with great approachability. Its deep fruit flavors are overlaid with fine oak, and the tannins are well integrated.

PR Cab components: 57% Bancroft Ranch, 21% State Lane, 14% St. Helena Home, 5% Chabot, 3% Bancroft Cabernet Franc


Tasting Notes

  • Lush, ripe fruit
  • Pretty, elegant wine
  • Aromas more subdued than in the past
  • Nice balance between fruit and oak
  • Cedar, into and coffee, covers the palette with black fruit
  • Nice long aftertaste

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.

1993 Private Reserve from time of release

1993 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintage Notes from time of release

A cool spring with rain during the critical period of berry set reduced the yield of Cabernet Sauvignon in this vintage, but warmer than normal temperatures toward the end of summer allowed for optimal ripening and concentration of flavors during a prolonged harvest season. Assembled from wines vinified and aged separately from Bancroft Ranch, Tre Colline vineyard on Howell Mountain and St. Helena Home Vineyard, the blend also includes 3 percent Cabernet Franc from Bancroft Ranch. A mouthfilling wine with bright cherry fruit flavors and Napa Valley Cabernet's characteristic hint of olives and spice, this Private Reserve is showing very much like the 1986 vintage did at this time in its evolution but is even richer, with more fruit in the foreground.

PR Cab components: 62% Bancroft Ranch, 24% St. Helena Home, 11% Tre Colline, 2% Bancroft Cabernet Franc, 1% Tre Colline Cabernet Franc


Tasting Notes

  • Tobacco, deep, dark syrup, black fruit, ripe cherries, coco, dried herbs and spice
  • Nice acid balance and firm tannins
  • Lots of blackberry, cherry and cherry cola
  • Mushroom at the beginning, then toffee, candy character

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.

1994 Private Reserve from time of release

1994 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintage Notes from time of release

With growing conditions that have been described as "pristine," the 1994 vintage yielded smaller than normal quantities of Cabernet Sauvignon, but the wine has dense and concentrated colors and flavors. Almost half of the blend for this Private Reserve came from Bancroft Ranch; the balance was from Tre Colline, Chabot and St. Helena Home vineyards, as well as the 3 percent Cabernet Franc from Tre Colline. This wine has intensity of flavor that provides considerable pleasure now, but its tannins are firm enough to promise long aging. Its sweet, ripe black currant and black fruit base bring already-developed maturity to the wine, which will continue to evolve for many years to come. A great wine from a great vintage.

PR Cab components: 47% Bancroft Ranch, 20% Tre Colline, 18% Chabot, 12% St. Helena Home, 3% Tre Colline Cabernet Franc


Tasting Notes

  • Spice, cherry, touch of plum
  • Cedar, mocha, brown spice, white pepper
  • Rich intense flavors and long finish

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.

1995 Private Reserve from time of release

1995 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintage Notes from time of release

A cool, rainy beginning to 1995 vintage lowered yields; however, the lengthened growing season resulted in the development of rich flavors and deep colors. According to Ed Sbragia, "patience brought success in this vintage." Ed selected Cabernet from Bancroft Ranch, Tre Colline, Chabot and St. Helena Home vineyards for this wine, adding three percent Cabernet Franc from Tre Colline. Very, dark purple in the glass. The amazingly expressive nose almost defines great Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon—cassis and ripe wild blackberry melange, complimented by French oak spice. A very good year in a bottle.

PR Cab components: 37% Tre Colline, 34% Bancroft Ranch, 19% Chabot, 7% St. Helena Home, 3% Tre Colline Cabernet Franc


Tasting Notes

  • Warm spices, cedar, mushroom, forest floor, blackberry, and coco-mint
  • “I think the 95 is just smoking!” - Ed
  • Earthy and floral notes
  • Intense and yet elegant

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.

1996 Private Reserve from time of release

1995 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintage Notes from time of release

Although rains during the bloom period in May resulted in a light crop and loose clusters, a sustained period of higher-than-normal temperatures in August contributed to heightened fruit flavors and concentration. Once again, the selected vineyards were Bancroft, Tre Colline, Chabot and St. Helena Home, to which Ed added 4 percent Cabernet Franc from Bancroft Ranch. Dark purple/magenta colors. Aggressive, voluptuous ripe Cabernet fruit and silky tannins carry the wine through a long, round palate finish.

Note: Wine Spectator Wine of the Year in 1990

PR Cab components: 52% Tre Colline, 27% Bancroft, 9% St. Helena Home, 8% Chabot, 4% Bancroft Cab Franc


Tasting Notes

  • Lots of cocoa, cedar, brown sugar, blackberry & sweet spices
  • Sweet tobacco and mint, with candied violets, vanilla
  • Luscious, long, rich finish
  • Pretty fruit and elegant

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.

1997 Private Reserve from time of release

1997 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintage Notes from time of release

Ideal growing conditions led to a large, exceptional quality vintage. Great core of ripe Howell Mountain fruit from Bancroft and Tre Colline with a good portion of Chabot. St. Helena Home Vineyard and Marston Ranch components highlight fruit and balance texture. Mouthwatering but brooding cherry, blackberry and sweet plum flavors balanced with substantial structure, smoky oak, Corsican mint, brown spices and cedar. Intense, dense, great acid-to-fruit balance. Built for the long haul, and then some.

PR Cab components: 34% Tre Colline, 19% Chabot, 19% St. Helena Home, 16% Bancroft, 9% Marston, 3% Tre Colline Cabernet Franc, 1% Bancroft Cab Franc


Tasting Notes

  • Another big vintage
  • Berry, cassis, sweet herb character (bay leaf)
  • Cocoa, anise and toasted marshmallow
  • Flashier on release, firm tannins, slightly tight now, but a lot of flavor intensity

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.

1998 Private Reserve from time of release

1998 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintage Notes from time of release

Late, cool vintage delayed maturities in most vineyards. Howell Mountain fruit was most challenging. Significant thinning of the crop was necessary and rigorous selection at harvest severely cut yields. More selection in the winery resulted in production that was less than half of normal. Blend has core of St. Helena Home Vineyard with Tre Colline, Chabot, Pretty nose with perfumy wild berry and mineral earthiness. Supple, velvety tannins showing opulence at a young age. Red fruit, black currant, mint, cedar and roasted coffee. Softer vintage than 1997, with an openness in the mouth.

PR Cab components: 28% Tre Colline, 24% Chabot, 23% St. Helena Home, 14% Bancroft Ranch, 11% Marston


Tasting Notes

  • Vanilla and cedar in the nose
  • Sweet cocoa, chocolate cherries, bing cherries, mint and slight herbal
  • Soft, elegant and fruit forward – great drinking upon release
  • Beautiful flavors, so approachable
  • Note: in blind tastings collectors often pick 98 over the 97& 96 vintages

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.

1999 Private Reserve from time of release

1999 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Vintage Notes from time of release

Characterized by moderate temperatures and a late beginning that kept all stages of vine and fruit development about three weeks behind normal throughout the spring and summer and then through to harvest. Core of blend is 52 percent Cabernet Sauvignon from Tre Colline Vineyard because of its lush, dark, dense fruit flavors and ripe, firm tannins. The balance from St. Helena Home Vineyard and Chabot Ranch add color, plush structure and distinctive cassis flavors, with hints of mint and cedar. Three percent Cabernet Franc from Tre Colline elongates the finish. Dense, bright, dark fruit flavors of cassis and blackberries mingle with brown spices and cedar, and are carried along by a rich texture into the back of the palate and a persistent finish.

PR Cab components: 52% Tre Colline (Steinhauer), 20% St. Helena Home, 11% Chabot, 9% Rancho del Oso, 4% Tre Colline (Steinhauer) Cabernet Franc


Tasting Notes

  • Cherry, brown spice, slightly earthy, cedar
  • Pretty and elegant with sweet fruit
  • Medium body, good finish

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.

 
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