99 Points - James Suckling
“Breathtaking. Exceptional integration of super ripe blackberries and the very finest oak. The tannins build up beautifully, forming wave upon wave as the wine flows across the palate. Then the wave breaks on your palate and shoots way out at the finish, so that you wonder where it will end and normal life begin again. Needs time to soften, but this is so, so good. Give it two or three years.” - James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, May 2019
Rich, full-bodied and deeply rewarding, this vintage expression is one for the ages (and aging). Notes of crème de cassis, black and blue fruits and baking spices frame flavors of ripe plum, dark cherry and chocolate in a muscular yet exceedingly well balanced and elegant wine. A memorable, lingering finish continues to reveal multiple layers of complexity to be enjoyed over the next two decades.
Steinhauer Ranch (40%), Bancroft Ranch (15%) and Pauli (5%) vineyards atop Howell Mountain provide the foundation for the 2016 blend. Exceptional fruit from the Gamble Ranch in Oakville (15%), along with St. Helena’s Home Vineyard (10%) and Chabot Vineyard (10%) join contributions from Mount Veeder’s Lampyridae Vineyard (5%). Each lot is closely watched during the ripening period to determine ideal pick time. Grapes for the 2016 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon were harvested between September 16th and October 20th.
After a relatively dry January significant rainfall arrived in February, along with mild temperatures. Bud break was early, but was slowed by heavy April showers. While still early by historical standards, picking began about a week later than 2015, and continued at a leisurely pace, allowing the grapes to reach full flavor maturity. The extended season helped to balance acids and add complexity to the layers of flavors. Warm temperatures arrived as harvest began, but ultimately, everything came together in the best possible way.
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 from the moment the fruit comes into the winery at Harvest. Tailored pump-over techniques are used for optimal extraction, and the wine is aged in hand-selected, custom-toasted barrels of new French Nevers oak (83% new). Each lot aged 20 months before selection of the final blend, to allow each vineyard to express the depth of its unique terroir.