Wine Advocate | Robert Parker | December 2010
"The 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Steinhauer Ranch was very good..."
The 2007 growing season began with a moderately warm winter, which was followed by a very mild spring and summer. This prompted an even, steady ripening in the grapes out in the vineyards and nice development of acids, sugars and phenolics. The dryness of the season resulted in smaller berries and clusters, with a notable concentration of flavors.
With Cabernet of this quality, Lauries believe in taking a minimalist approach to winemaking. Vinifying the fruit from each vineyard separately, Laurie used tailored pump-over techniques for optimal extraction, and then aged the wines for approximately two years in hand-selected, custom-toasted barrels of new French Nevers oak from coopers with whom she has long-established relationships.
Beringer’s Steinhauer Ranch, renamed in 2003 to honor the winery’s long-time vineyard manager, Bob Steinhauer, lies just northeast of the town of Angwin on Howell Mountain, at about 1800 feet elevation. Its soil is volcanic with a richly red color and the texture is friable and loose. When Beringer first planted the vineyard, the distinctive character of the grapes was immediately evident, and it was selected as a regular part of the Private Reserve blend beginning in the 1993 vintage. Robust tannins and an earthy finish make this a superlative display of Howell Mountain fruit.