"Offers rich, smooth, layered flavors of blackberry, wild berry, plum and cassis. Full-bodied, yet graceful and elegant, this is most interesting on the finish, where the flavors glide along and pick up a subtle lift of spice and mocha. Drink now through 2024. 3,602 cases made."
Beringer Vineyards has owned and farmed its Knights Valley vineyards since the mid-1960's, when the Beringer family recognized that the cobbley, rocky alluvial soils were a great place to grow high quality wine grapes. The Knights Valley designation was first used on a Beringer label in 1974. Beringer was instrumental in garnering official recognition for the area in 1983 as a premier wine growing region in the form of its own American Viticulture Area (AVA) designation.
VINTAGE & VINEYARDS
The 2009 growing season was marked by a mild season overall. Light spring rains gave way to a serene, warm summer. Temperatures stayed even through August, giving the grapes an ideal timeframe in which to develop good acidity and phenolics. Overall yields were on the smaller side, making for intense varietal characteristics and flavor development immediately evident at Harvest. Knights Valley was first acquired by Beringer in 1961, and to this day is a place of rustic and unspoiled beauty stretching for miles. Located just seventeen miles north of the winery in Sonoma County, it still has a bucolic feel—miles of rolling hills that meander down into a rocky, alluvial valley floor where a grand river used to run. Everything about the place gives one a sense of its uniqueness, including the wines it yields. For two decades, Laurie Hook has worked with the Knights Valley vineyard. Its isolation, tranquility and the slightly rough edges of its landscape have earned it a soft spot in her heart. She has spent many hours walking Knights Valley's rocky terrain, watching the vineyards evolve and noting which blocks are particularly unique within the 600 acres Beringer has farmed for decades. Grapes for the 2009 Knights Valley Reserve were harvested between October 6th and October 11th.
To maintain the unique characteristics of the different lots from varying areas of the vineyard, Laurie kept them all separate through vinification and aging. Extended maceration created larger tannins to enhance the lush mouthfeel of the blend and extracted a maximum of color, aromas and flavors. The wines were aged in small French Nevers oak barrels (79% new) for fifteen months. The entirety of the blend underwent malolactic fermentation which contributed to its rich mouthfeel and silky tannins. Laurie added a small portions of Petite Verdot to round out the blend and add further complexities to this memorable wine.
LAURIE'S TASTING NOTES
This wine has rich aromas of dark cherry, anise, dark cocoa and toasted spices. Juicy flavor notes of black cherry, juicy plum, savory spices are highlighted by a concentrated mouthfeel and a rich, lengthy finish.