93 Points - The Wine Advocate
“The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Knights Valley (containing a 2% splash of Malbec) was aged for 15 months in 32% new French oak. Deep purple-black in color, it sings of crème de cassis, black cherries and black berry preserves with touches of camphor, dark chocolate and wood smoke. Full-bodied, firm and finely grained, the palate has loads of mineral accents with black fruit layers, finishing with a lively herbal lift. 7,664 cases produced, to be released in September 2019.” - Lisa Perotti Brown, Wine Advocate, October 2018
Royally rich in purple hues, this highly concentrated, intensely flavored wine offers rich and deep, dark fruits with blueberries, black cherries, blackberry and cherry jam, accented with dark chocolate, herbs and cassis. Full-bodied, with fine grained tannins and distinctive oak notes, finishing with mineral accents and a lively lift.
The 2016 Sonoma harvest was early, with a mostly normal yield of exceptional quality fruit. A relatively even growing season followed welcome winter rains that helped to alleviate the drought. Temperatures cooled down in mid-September, providing a welcome break that allowed for extended flavor development. Overall, yields were down from the long-term average, but the reduction in size was offset by exemplary quality.
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.
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.