2004 Beringer "Private Reserve" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
Sweet notes of licorice, cedar wood, blackberries, toast, pepper and bay leaf are all present in this big, full-bodied, opulent, lusty California-styled wine. Exotic with loads of fruit and on a fast evolutionary track, the 2004 can be drunk now or cellared for another 10-15 years.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Medium ruby. Welcoming aromas of black raspberry, chocolate and sexy oak. Lush, layered and sweet, with superb energy and depth to the black raspberry and bitter chocolate flavors. The longest on the aftertaste of these 2004 cabernets, finishing with very suave tannins and lovely aromatic persistence
Wine & Spirits
Ed Sbragia blends this wine from eight sites. The Steinhauer Ranch on Howell Mountain made the largest contribution to this vintage (42 percent), followed by the St. Helena Home Ranch (18) and Bancroft Ranch (15). His 2004 shares the lush seamlessness that has long characterized the blend, but it also has a dark savor, with more character to the tannins than has been apparent in past vintages. The saturated fruit has a gunflint edge, a tight, mineral structure that will develop with age. Serve it with the dark meat of game birds, such as roast squab.
Rich, dense and chewy, with ripe plum, blackberry, fresh earth and mineral flavors, framed by smoky, cedary oak. Intense and persistent, ending with a mix of cherry and currant fruit. The tannins are firm but ripe. Needs time. Best from 2009 through 2018. 8,200 cases made.
Polish rather power is the forte of this refined look at Cabernet, and, from beginning to end, keen and carefully oaked curranty fruit is the wine's main motif. Unlike so many of its high-tannin, very ripe kin, this one manages to be solid without sprawling and speaks with both a clear voice and a certain restraint. Mind you, it stints on neither richness nor depth, and its fine sense of balance tags it as a wine that will develop nicely with age even while not needing lengthy cellaring.
"100% Cabernet Sauvignon; Harvest Dates: September 14 to October 16. This blend of fruit from Steinhauer Ranch (42%), St. Helena Home Vineyard (18%), Bancroft Ranch (15%), Marston Ranch (11%), and the rest tiny quantities from Chabot Vineyard, Rancho del Oso and Lampyridae emerged from an unusual growing season for Napa. Heavy rains in February were followed by hot weather in March, April and May, and cooler than normal weather in June, July and August. The harvest began early and finished a short four weeks later, an unusually quick harvest." (Wine Advocate, 6/2011)