2012 Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1165365 94 points Wine & Spirits

 *Best Buy* Beringer has made wine from Knights Valley, northwest of Napa, since the late 1970s, and now farms 500 acres of grapes on the cobbly soils that have sloughed off of the volcanic hillsides above. This 2012 is a bundle of energy, the structure tight and stony, the fruit pure, its bold and refreshing black raspberry tone interlaced with aromas that suggest resinous pine needles and a hint of smoked tea. It’s bright and accessible enough to decant now, but in ten years, it will be a rich, savory pleasure to open for prime rib.  (10/2015)

90 points Vinous

 The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Knights Valley is especially deep and powerful in this vintage. Smoke, game, incense, leather, pomegranate, spice and red cherries are some of the many notes that inform this striking Cabernet from Sonoma's Knights Valley, a fertile hunting ground for savory, mineral-driven wines full of character. This is a fabulous wine for the money, but with a production of 90,000 cases, winemaker Laurie Hook shows to achieve quality and value with scale, something that is much harder than it looks. This lineup from Beringer and winemaker Laurie Hook is commendable for many reasons, chief among them a number of large production value-priced gems that deliver fabulous quality for the money. Of course, most of the flagship wines are terrific, but it is the performance of the entry-level wines that is particularly remarkable. (AG)  (10/2014)

90 points Wine Spectator

 Easy to approach yet deceptively complex, with ripe red and dark berry, floral and peppery spice notes. The creamy, supple texture invites drinking. Drink now through 2023.  (11/2014)

Connoisseurs Guide

 Sporting an attractive mix of sweet berries, cherries, hints of root beer and a touch of tea in its moderately deep and fairly outgoing aromas, this well-ripened, medium-full-bodied look at Cabernet shows good size and depth on the palate as well. Although a bit of back-palate tightness and angularity work against early enjoyment, three to five years of age figure to smooth off the rough edges that need smoothing and should bring everything into mannerly balance.  (4/2015)

Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 For its size and prominence, the St. Helena flagship Beringer winery does a remarkable job with the quality of its offerings. They have been fortunate to choose a brilliant line-up of chief winemakers, from Ed Sbragia, to Laurie Hook. The following group of wines, coming primarily from 2012 for the reds, and 2012 and 2013 for the whites, is one of the strongest I have tasted with them. That is reassuring when you consider the enormous size of the umbrella Treasury Estates that owns Beringer. Beringer has been doing a beautiful job in this area, and the medium-bodied 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Knights Valley represents fair value. Its deep ruby/plum color is accompanied by notes of chocolate, toast, blackcurrants and black cherries offered in a lush, sexy, fruit-driven style. It should drink nicely for 7-8 years. (RP)  (10/2014)

K&L Notes

Napa Valley's venerable Beringer Vineyards has been sourcing Cabernet from just over the hill in Sonoma County for many decades. The Knights Valley vineyard is at a higher elevation, in a valley that's tucked in between the northern tip of Napa Valley and Alexander Valley, directly underneath Mount Saint Helena. It's considered among the winery's flagship varietal wines.

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Price: $22.99
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Staff Image By: Jim Chanteloup | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/7/2014 | Send Email
Beringer, which is located in Napa Valley, has been producing this wine from Sonoma County's Knights Valley appellation for some time now, and it has always remained a consistent value in California Cabernet. The vineyard lies at a higher elevation than Alexander Valley in Sonoma County, and manages to combine the suppleness of that AVA with the fine tannin structure of Knights Valley. The bouquet offers black cherry, dark plum, cassis, earth and a hint of bittersweet chocolate. On the palate, there is the previously mentioned supple tannins blended with a fine dusting of cocoa powder, bringing the finer-grained, firmer tannin structure. It's all framed by lightly toasted oak that is well-integrated, with good length.

Staff Image By: Trey Beffa | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/7/2014 | Send Email
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The 2012 Beringer Knights Valley Cab is an great example of the quality to come with the 2012 vintage in California. Upfront the wine smells like classic California Cab; hints of toasty oak, plum, black licorice and cocoa powder. The tannins are present but integrated and sweet, while the finish is long and lingering. Excellent, straightforward Cabernet that will not disappoint!
Top Value!

Staff Image By: Christie Brunick | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/3/2014 | Send Email
I have to admit I was pretty impressed when I tasted the latest vintage of the Knights Valley Cabernet. It had more structure and depth than I anticipated. Loads of the gorgeous dense black fruit as always, but with the integrated tannins and grip of a Napa Cab twice its price. Pair this with something fatty like a New York or rib-eye steak!

Staff Image By: Olivia Ragni | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/3/2014 | Send Email
Cherry, spice and everything nice! Silky, chocolaty tannins, fruits reminiscent of black cherry, raspberry, plum, and fresh figs. A crowd pleaser for any hearty, robust meal!

Staff Image By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/2/2014 | Send Email
Classically rich and full bodied. Lots of lush currant fruit and black cherry too. You can see the excitement behind the 2012 vintage showing through with this luscious and delicious domestic Cabernet. Very pleasing style.

Staff Image By: Michael Jordan | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/1/2014 | Send Email
This iconic Napa Valley producer has done well with this 2012 Knights Valley. Sourced from vineyards in Sonoma County, Beringer has been making this wine for years. If you love California Cabernet, this wine is for you. Big, bright and extracted with generous spice. Vanilla and cedar are generous with the tannins being very soft and approachable. Enjoy now or for the next 5 years.

Staff Image By: Alex Pross | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/1/2014 | Send Email
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Nestled slightly to the east of Alexander Valley and to the north of Calistoga, Knights Valley straddles the imaginary line delineating Sonoma from Napa Valley. An emerging hotbed for great Cabernet Sauvignon values, Knights Valley offers a nice alternative to all the $50+ Cabs from Napa Valley. The 2012 Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon at $22.99 is the perfect example of the kind of values that can be found in Knights Valley; this exact wine with the words Napa Valley would easily command upwards of $50 a bottle! A nose of dark cherry kirsch, mocha and tobacco give way to a richly-textured palate of black cherries, plum, spice and seductive chocolate notes. This wine is packed with dark berry fruit and luscious notes of mocha and chocolate with good acidity, silky tannins and bright fruit notes. The finish is long and energetic with lingering berry notes and just a hint of spice and milk chocolate. A killer value, this Cabernet Sauvignon definitely over-delivers given its modest price.
Drink from 2014 to 2020

Additional Information:


Cabernet Sauvignon and Blends

- Cabernet Sauvignon has come a long way from its role as a blending varietal, however dominant, in the wines of Bordeaux. Today it is the most planted red varietal in the world. Identified as a descendent of Cabernet Franc and Sauvignon Blanc, the late-ripening Cabernet Sauvignon needs to be planted in warmer climates to fully ripen. Its small berries can easily be identified for their distinctive blue color, thick skins and high tannins. And while the varietal has its own definitive characteristics: green pepper-like aromas and black currant flavors among them, it is perhaps most prized for its ability to convey terroir, vintage and winemaking. A relatively new varietal, Cabernet Sauvignon started making inroads into the wines of the Médoc and Graves in the late-18th century. Today it is also dominant in the up-and-coming Entre-Deux-Mers region of Bordeaux and can also be found in Southwest France. It is the companion varietal to Sangiovese in Italy's Super Tuscans and is planted all over Europe, stretching to lesser-known winegrowing regions like Russia and Lebanon. In the Americas Cabernet Sauvignon has found champions in every nook and cranny of California and among winemakers in Washington, where it complements plantings of Merlot. In South America, Cab thrives in Chile, but can also be found in smaller amounts in Argentina and even in Mexico.

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world. Click for a list of bestselling items from the United States.


- With the explosive growth that California's wine industry has seen the past several years, it's easy to view winemaking and grape growing in the Golden State as a recent phenomenon. And while it's true that California's viticultural history is brief compared to several European countries, this state's roots date back well over 200 years. Due to the enormous response to California wine within the United States and worldwide, there are thousands of excellent and diverse wines being produced within the state each year. For our entire selection of California wines, please visit this link.
Specific Appellation:

Sonoma County

- Second in fame only to Napa, this "other" valley offers just about every climate and topography imaginable. From its cool and fog-enshrouded coastal regions on the far west, to the sprawling Alexander Valley on the boarder of Napa and the many little dips and peaks in between, Sonoma has been a vital wine-grape-growing region since the mid 1800s. Important sub-AVAs include Chalk Hill (known for chardonnay and sauvignon blanc), Dry Creek Valley (where zin is king) Knights Valley (largely cabernet land), Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast (both celebrated pinot and chardonnay zones).
Alcohol Content (%): 14.3