2005 Beringer "Private Reserve" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2005 is one of my all-time favorite Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserves... Still a baby in terms of development, it is reminiscent of a first or second-growth Pauillac. Celestial notes of black currants, camphor, graphite, cocoa, white chocolate and spice box are all present in this full-bodied, extravagantly rich, multidimensional Cabernet. Although still primary, it is very classic with terrific purity, texture and length. It will need another decade to hit full maturity, but should easily last 15-20 years thereafter.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Good bright medium ruby. Knockout nose combines black raspberry, minerals and sweet spices. Lush and creamy, with explosive, fully ripe dark fruit and mineral flavors and terrific back-end lift. Finishes with big, broad, fine-grained tannins and impressive length. The goal here is not to make an early-drinking wine but one with sweet tannins and thoroughly ripe fruit, notes winemaker Laurie Hook, but I find this sexy from the start.
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.