94 points, Antonio Galloni "Dark, sumptuous and racy, the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Chabot Vineyard is all about texture. This is one of the more voluptuous wines in the Beringer range. As such, it will drink nicely right out of the gate. The radiant, expressive finish is striking in its immediacy, but there is plenty of finesse and nuance here as well."
Chabot Vineyard lies east of the Silverado Trail, just north of the road that leads up Howell Mountain to Bancroft Ranch and Steinhauer Ranch. The chunks of shiny obsidian heavily strewn through its soil reflect the locale, known as “Glass Mountain.” An underlying layer of pumice and bedrock ensures excellent drainage. The inky, highly structured, deeply flavored Cabernet from this vineyard was the first that Beringer Vineyards elected to bottle as a Private Reserve, in 1977, and we have continued to bottle a small amount each year since as a single-vineyard Cabernet.
Chabot Cabernet has finely knit tannins, and layers of black currant with hints of mint and cedar. The 2012 Chabot was harvested between October 12th and 20th and was aged for 18 months in 90% new French oak barrels.
Marston Vineyard perches on the slopes of Spring Mountain to the west of St. Helena, just a few miles uphill from the site of the Beringer brothers’ original St. Helena Home vineyard. The restrictive soil, mostly stony loam, produces grapes with highly developed fruit flavors. Within the vineyard, the terrain rises to approximately 1200 feet, varying between steep, terraced slopes to gently rolling land. The 2012 Marston was harvested on October 20th and was aged for 18 months in 80% new French oak barrels.
93 Points | Robert Parker, The Wine Advocate "100% Cabernet Franc showing plenty of forest floor, spice box, cedar wood and black and red currants. They all can be approached early on (3-4 years), but will age for 25+ years."
Vineyard Notes: Originally known as Tre Colline for its memorable undulating terrain, the 36-acre benchland vineyard was renamed in 2003 to honor Beringer’s long-time vineyard manager, Bob Steinhauer, who helped establish the reserve level vineyards across Napa Valley. At 1,800 feet elevation, southwest facing on Howell Mountain, just northeast of Angwin, Steinhauer Ranch features volcanic iron-rich soils notable for their rich red color, with a friable, loose texture. Cabernet Sauvignon and Cabernet Franc thrive in the sparse, infertile soil where cool mountain temperatures with high solar radiation above the fog line allow grapes to languish on the vine, developing bold tannins and distinctive notes.
Winemaker Notes: After gentle crushing and destemming, juice and skins were sent to small fermenters for an extended cold soak maceration to allow rich color, complex flavors and silky, mid-weight tannins to be slowly developed and extracted. The Cabernet Franc is aged in 91% new French oak barrels with medium toast for 20 months prior to bottling, when the wine is allowed to rest for another nine months before release.
"The 2009 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve is a beautifully balanced wine. Firm yet well-integrated tannins frame a core of dark red berries, flowers, mint, spices and licorice. The Reserve shows lovely inner perfume and mid-palate juiciness. It should drink well with a minimum of cellaring. The main vineyards in the 2009 are Home (37%), Lampyridae (23%), Vogt (14%), Chabot (11%) and Rancho del Oso (9%). Each lot was aged separately for about two years before the final blend was assembled. Anticipated maturity: 2014-2029." - Antonio Galloni
International Wine Cellar | Stephen Tanzer's | May, 2012
"Good full ruby. Pure but tight nose shows a medicinal reserve. Then tight and penetrating in the mouth, with noteworthy intensity to the blackberry and menthol flavors. Much less open and showy today than the Bancroft cabernet, revealing little in the way of easy sweetness. This seriously structured wine finishes with substantial firm tannins, excellent breadth and a suggestion of chocolatey richness, and should be long-lived. "A blend of the best of the best," according to winemaker Laurie Hook, who added that she's looking for "intensity, complexity, depth, persistence, elegance."
The 2009 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon presents aromas of ripe blackberry, sweet pastry and espresso, accented by hints of lavender, cedar and graphite. The palate is concentrated and dense with flavors of dark fruit and spice notes. A rich texture and mouth-coating tannins linger in the elegant finish.