1991 Beringer "Private Reserve" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The second largest production of Beringer's Private Reserve, the 1991 came in just behind the 24,000 cases of the 1997. Interestingly, these are among the greatest Private Reserves made, and as Ed Sbragia told me, it was just one of those perfect vintages. One of the longest and coolest growing seasons in the history of California, it was marked by cool temperatures throughout the summer and a perfect Indian Summer. The hang time of the grapes, ranging from the date of flowering to the date of harvest, was historically long (I do not believe it has been equaled since). The Cabernet Sauvignon came from the same three sources as the 1990, Bancroft Ranch, the Home Vineyard in St. Helena, and Chabot Vineyard, and the tiny dollop of Cabernet Franc was from the Bancroft Ranch site. I’ve enjoyed many bottles of this spectacular effort, which still possesses a dense ruby/purple color as well as a sumptuous nose of spring flowers, graphite, loamy soil, creme de cassis, black cherries and blackberries. With sweet tannin, a full-bodied mouthfeel and incredible purity as well as youthfulness, this wine has another 15-20 years of life left in it. If this were a Bordeaux, one would think it was 8-10 years old, not two decades. There are no hard edges, and the seamless integration of all the component parts make it one of the prodigious Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserves to drink now as well as over the next 20 years.
Brimming with ripe, complex, youthful juicy plum, black cherry, chocolate, currant and spicy fruit flavors. Very dark color, excellent structure and depth of flavor. Finishes with a long, complex aftertaste. Should last another decade with ease. (Web-2002)