With each vintage of the acclaimed Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, Beringer Winemaker Laurie Hook chooses the best lots from our reserve vineyards in the Napa Valley, each of which demonstrate remarkable expression of terroir. Beringer’s extraordinary collection of vineyards is the result of a significant and decades-long relationship between viticulture and winemaking. This partnership began with Ed Sbragia and Bob Steinhauer in the 1970’s, and continues today with Winemaker Laurie Hook and vicitulturist Drew Johnson, who has cared for our vineyards for over 20 years. Just as critical as the relationship between viticulture and winemaking is the collaboration between Winemaker Laurie Hook and Ed Sbragia that has shaped the Reserve portfolio. Winemaker Laurie Hook builds on the acclaimed consistency and quality of this wine with the 2008 vintage, which marks her 26th harvest with Beringer.
Vintage & Vineyard
The 2008 growing season began with very cool temperatures in the winter and heavy rains. A long frost period and dry spring made the 2008 a unique vintage. Rainfall decreased in the spring and warmer temperatures in August and September got harvest rolling in early September with excellent flavor development.
St. Helena Home vineyard provides the foundation for the 2008 blend, which has been part of the Private Reserve blend since 1982. This vineyard was part of the original acreage that founders Jacob and Frederick Beringer purchased in 1875 with the Beringer estate. The valley floor fruit proved to be of excellent concentration and texture in 2008, and is highlighted by a smaller percentage of Howell Mountain fruit which adds additional structure and length to the blend. Grapes for the 2008 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon were harvested between September 10 and October 24.
The Beringer reserve vineyards offer Cabernet Sauvignon of such quality that a minimalist approach to winemaking has long defined this special blend. Each vineyard is vinified separately and monitored carefully by Laurie, from the moment the fruit comes into the winery at Harvest. She uses tailored pump-over techniques for optimal extraction, and ages the wines in hand-selected, custom-toasted barrels of new French Nevers oak. Each lot was aged for almost two years before selection of the final blend, to allow each vineyard to express the depth of its unique terroir.
Laurie's Tasting Notes
The 2008 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon shows youthful characters of fresh blackberry, black cherry and blueberry, and has bright characteristics of blackberry and blueberry aromas, accented by notes of toast, graphite, cedar and brown spices. The palette is rich and supple with seamless, mouth-coating tannins. The rich, juicy fruit core is highlighted by flavors of cassis, blackberry, sweet cocoa and a light savory note. A nice acidity lifts the fruit and carries it into a prolonged, pleasing finish.