2005 Beringer "Private Reserve" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Beringer’s 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve comes from the top selection from all their different holdings, with each vineyard aged separately for close to two years, then blended for quality. This blend of 95% Cabernet Sauvignon and 5% Cabernet Franc is a gorgeous example of the Private Reserve. Of course, it probably suffers from the fact that Beringer is part of a gigantic international conglomerate, but this is just a stunning wine – inky purple, with plenty of cassis, a hint of espresso, subtle background oak and forest notes. The color is opaque and the wine full-bodied and opulent, with sweet tannin and a multilayered mouthfeel. It has silky tannins, good freshness and uplifting acid, which should ensure a considerable longevity of 15-20 additional years. This is a stunner. (RP)
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Healthy deep red. Pure, vibrant but reticent aromas of dark berries, violet and espresso suggest a very concentrated wine with firm acidity. Dense and plush but also sharply delineated and youthfully imploded, conveying a strong impression of inner-mouth tension to its intense black fruit and mineral flavors. Finishes very long and tight, with pliant, fine-grained tannins and outstanding energy. A real live wire of a Cabernet and nowhere near peak drinkability: this wine has tightened up in recent years.
Wine & Spirits
A great vintage of Private Reserve, this reflects the sensibilities of two winemakers: Ed Sbragia, who has shepherded the blend for three decades, and Laurie Hook, who joined Sbragia in 1986. Hook's influence on the Beringer style has been subtle but significant over the past several years. The tightness of this wine and the more overt minerality in its tannin provide a defined arc of flavor, with firmer edges than often appeared in the smooth, sleek Private Reserve blends of the past. A large portion of the wine comes from Howell Mountain (Bancroft Ranch, Steinhauer and Rancho del Oso make up 60 percent), with another 25 percent from Beringer's St. Helena Home Ranch. The detail in the tannin shapes the complexity of the wine, the dark fruit and licorice flavors smoothed by oak. It's a formidable Cabernet, deserving of ten years in the cellar to reach peak drinking.
Offers richness, concentration and depth while remaining elegant and supple, focusing on the ripe, spicy currant, mineral, herb and sage notes. Ends with a measure of finesse and polish, with the right mix of tannins.