96 Points - James Suckling
“A bolder, dark-fruited and more powerful expression of Howell Mountain that carries a deeper line weight of tannins. Aromas are tinged with dark-roasted herbs, wet concrete-like savory notes, graphite, cassis and currants, leading to a palate with distinctively powerful tannins that are precisely groomed. Impressive depth and freshness. Try from 2021.”
- James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, May 2018
95 Points - Wine Advocate
“Deep garnet-purple colored, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Steinhauer Vineyard has a fragrant violets, incense and potpourri character over a core of blackberries and black cherries, with touches of pencil shavings and underbrush. Full-bodied, concentrated and full-on gorgeous in the mouth, it fills the palate with ripe black fruits supported by fine-grained tannins and just enough freshness, finishing long.” - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate, October 2017
Steinhauer Ranch Vineyard Notes
Beringer’s Steinhauer Ranch, renamed in 2003 to honor the winery’s long-time vineyard manager, Bob Steinhauer, lies just northeast of the town of Angwin, at about 1800 feet elevation. Its soil is volcanic with a richly red color and the texture is friable and loose. When Beringer first planted the vineyard, the distinctive character of the grapes was immediately evident, and it was selected as a regular part of the Private Reserve blend beginning in the 1993 vintage. Robust tannins and an earthy finish make this a superlative display of Howell Mountain fruit. The 2015 Steinhauer Ranch was aged for 20 months in 60% new French oak barrels. Careful attention is paid to vineyard blocks, which are kept separate and vinified with a goal of extracting maximum flavor.
The 2015 growing season 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. The overall quality, complexity and balance in the vines produced exceptional fruit for 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.