Vintage 2012
Wine Type Red
Varietal Cabernet Sauvignon
Region Napa Valley

With each vintage of the acclaimed Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, the Beringer Winemaker 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.

96 points - Wine Advocate

"Revealing the great blending skills of Beringer’s winemaking team, the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve is a winner. Having purchased Private Reserves for many years, I can attest that they age incredibly well. The 1991, one of the great successes of that vintage, is still aging beautifully at nearly 25 years of age. The sensational 2012 (10,000 cases) boasts an opaque purple color along with abundant aromas of charcoal, burning embers, crme de cassis, chocolate, blackberries and licorice. The long, complex, compelling, full-bodied texture along with terrific purity and a savory, rich mouthfeel result in a classic, quintessential Napa Cabernet Sauvignon to drink now and over the next 20-25 years." - Robert Parker, October 2014

95 points - James Suckling

"This is powerful with super polished tannins and a wonderful balance of fruit and acidity. Lots of blackberry, sweet tobacco and fresh mushroom undertones. Layered and structured. Needs at least three to four years to come around but already great. Exciting, harking back to the great vintages of this wine."

Tasting Notes

The 2012 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon has complex layers of black fruit and notes of cocoa powder, graphite and light smoky oak. Notes of bittersweet chocolate and blackberry pastry complement the long finish.

Vintage Notes

The 2012 vintage began with textbook conditions that continued through much of Harvest. Spring bud break was ideal with steady flowering and even fruit set. A lengthy stretch of warm days and cool nights during the summer months allowed for optimal ripeness to develop in the grapes and an exceptional quality overall. Steinhauer vineyard provides the foundation (30%) for the 2012 blend, which has been part of the Private Reserve blend since 1993. A significant portion (17%) comes from Bancroft Ranch atop Howell Mountain as well, and another portion (17%) comes from the St. Helena Home vineyard, which was part of the original acreage that founders Jacob and Frederick Beringer purchased in 1875 with the Beringer estate.  Each lot is closely watched during the ripening period to determine ideal pick time. Grapes for the 2012 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon were harvested between September 25th and October 27th.

Winemaker's Notes

"My great-great grandfather, Jacob Beringer, founded Beringer Vineyards with his brother in 1876 with the simple but audacious goal of producing world-class wines rivaling those from their home country of Germany. Today, I have the great honor of being Chief Winemaker at Beringer Vineyards and continuing the unique winemaking legacy of those that came before me including Myron Nightingale, Ed Sbragia, and Laurie Hook. As such, it is a pleasure for me to share the 2012 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon, a wine that was made by now Winemaker Emeritus Laurie Hook, and is the 35th vintage of this iconic Napa Valley Cabernet. Long the flagship wine for Beringer Vineyards and a bottle that has always had a place at my family table for special occasions, the Private Reserve remains an expression of the best of each vintage. In the case of 2012, the vintage was a particularly strong one – a long, even growing season and minimal weather challenges resulted in a harvest of great quality and quantity. The vineyards that comprise the blend of Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon represent one of the primary reasons I came back ‘home’ to Beringer - spanning elevations and appellations that are the very best of Napa Valley. The 2012 Private Reserve has a core of Howell Mountain fruit which will lend the blend great ageability, and a quarter of the blend comes from the St. Helena Home vineyard on the estate originally purchased by the Beringer brothers over 140 years ago. As a winemaker, there is no greater thrill than working with exemplary vineyards and contributing to a tradition that is as rich and important as that of Beringer Vineyards." -Mark Beringer

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 carefully monitored from the moment the fruit comes into the winery at Harvest. Each lot was aged for 18 months before selection of the final blend, to allow each vineyard to express the depth of its unique terroir.

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