2007 Beringer "Private Reserve" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1061455 97 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 One of the finest Private Reserves made over the last two decades, this phenomenal wine is obviously still an infant in terms of development, but it exhibits a dense purple color as well as an extraordinary nose of blackberries, white chocolate, licorice, tobacco leaf, smoky barbecue, charcoal and a burning ember-like note reminiscent of a Graves from Bordeaux. A dense, luscious, full-bodied, opulent style, with sweet tannin, this locked and loaded, intense, full throttle Private Reserve should be accessible in 5-6 years and last for 25-30.  (6/ 2011)

93 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Deep ruby. Lively aromas of cassis, licorice and violet. Sweet and lush but juicy, with a strong chocolatey character and excellent underlying backbone. Very densely packed cabernet, with suaver tannins than the Steinhauer or Lampyridae bottlings. Finishes with lingering licorice and bitter chocolate notes. A very successful blend: 70% from Howell Mountain, 14% St. Helena, 8% Mt. Veeder and 8% Spring Mountain.  (6/ 2010)

92 points Connoisseurs Guide

 Insistent, very precise Cabernet fruit is the bearing by which this well-made wine steers, and its deep theme of optimally ripened cassis shines through its ample blanket of rich oak and powers on past the youthful tannins that presently rough up its finish. There is even now a sense of precision and style that sets this one apart, and, if never an especially big wine in build, it is very well-stuffed and exudes real varietal confidence from beginning to lasting finish.  (12/ 2010)

91 points Wine & Spirits

 Laurie Hook blended this wine from a collection of seven vineyards, the majority coming from Howell Mountain's Bancroft Ranch and Steinhauer sites (70 percent). The power and dark extract of that mountain fruit are plumped up by juicier notes of plums and fat blackberries, all of it wrapped in the char of oak. A potent vintage of Private Reserve, this is built to age ten years or more.  (6/ 2011)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Firm, intense and vibrant, featuring a complex, focused core of earthy currant, sage, black licorice and mineral. Full-bodied, yet sleek and trim on the finish, where the flavors are slow to unfold. Best from 2012 through 2022.  (11/ 2010)

90 points James Suckling

 This is dense with a velvety texture and a lovely palate of toasted oak, coffee, and blackberries. It's full and round with plenty of structure. Give it three to four years of bottle age.  (2/ 2011)

K&L Notes

This is Beringer's top-of-the-line blend, exceeding even their single vineyard Cabernet in price, and perhaps acclaim; made with the assistance of senior winemaker Ed Sbragia, the "Private Reserve" is indeed a well-respected blend from a brand that may be otherwise familiar to wine consumers for their less inexpensive, everyday wines.

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Varietal:

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.
Country:

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.
Sub-Region:

California

- 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:

Napa Valley

- America's most famous wine region, which encompasses a varied geographical territory running about 20 miles long from the San Francisco Bay northward to the foot of Mount St. Helena. Napa's great diversity, both in terms of climate and terroir, has led to the creation of a number of smaller AVAs like Stags Leap District, Rutherford, Howell Mountain, Oakville and Mount Veeder, among others. Cabernet and chardonnay still reign supreme, but just about everything under the sun is grown in Napa Valley, in quality levels ranging from $2 jug wine to $500 a bottle California cab.