95 Points - James Suckling
“This is very focused with very fine tannins, giving texture and form to the wine. Blackberry, blueberry and chocolate undertones. Some rosemary and lavender undertones, as well as granite. Full to medium body, integrated tannins and a long, flavorful finish. Juicy. Drink or hold.” - James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, May 2018
93 Points - Wine Spectator
"Sturdy and structured, with cedary oak evident in the aroma and palate, gaining depth and complexity.A good bet to gain from here. Best from 2020 through 2030.”
- James Laube, Wine Spectator, June 2018
92 Points - Wine Advocate
"Very deep inky-purple in color, scented of crushed black currants, blackberry pie, and mincemeat with nuances of baking spices, menthol, cedar box and tobacco leaf. Medium to full-bodied with great finesse and a solid foundation of grainy tannins, the muscular fruit yields youthful berry layers long into the finish.” - Lisa Perotti Brown, Wine Advocate, October 2017
Richly colored in an inky purple hue, the wine offers aromas and flavors of dark fruits, featuring blackberry, currants, smoked meats and baking spices, with menthol and cedar cigar box notes accented by rich pipe tobacco. Trending toward full body with muscular tannins, the finish is long and lingering, with a dense texture that promises a long and rewarding life cycle.
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 in Sonoma County just 17 miles north of the Beringer Napa winery, it still has a bucolic feel – miles of rolling hills meandering down into a rocky, alluvial valley floor where a grand river used to run. Everything about Knights Valley gives one a sense of its uniqueness, including the wines it yields. Knights Valley’s rocky terrain, the growth and evolution of the vineyards and the myriad blocks within the 600 acres farmed by Beringer for decades makes this a growing site like no other.
The 2015 growing season in Sonoma and Knights Valley was marked by pleasant weather with little pressure from heat spikes or unseasonable rain. A dry winter, common in recent years, was quickly followed by an equally dry spring, leading to an early bud break and fast start to the growing season. Warm weather continued throughout late spring and summer, allowing for the steady and sure development of flavors. Harvest began early in August, and the overall quality, complexity and balance in the vines produced exceptional fruit for the winemakers. The impact of the continuing drought was evident in slightly lighter crop loads, but the reduction in size was offset by an increase in quality.
Knights Valley Reserve is a barrel selection, a blend of the best vineyard lots in a given vintage. To maintain the unique characteristics of the different lots from varying areas of the vineyard, they are kept separate through vinification and aging, and only the most expressive are chosen for this Reserve bottling. Extended maceration created more dominant tannins, enhancing the lush mouthfeel of the blend while extracting a maximum of color, aromas and flavors. The wine is aged in small French Nevers oak barrels (56% percent new) for nineteen months, enhancing the rich mouthfeel and structure. A small portion of Malbec and Petit Verdot were also added to add further complexities to this memorable wine.