2003 Beringer "Private Reserve" Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon

SKU #1041699 95 points Robert Parker's Wine Advocate

 The best wine of this group is the 2003 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve. For statisticians, the composition includes 32% from the St. Helena Home Vineyard, 19% from the Steinhauer Ranch, 12% from Marston Vineyard, 12% from Bancroft Ranch, 8% from the Quarry Vineyard, 6% from Rancho del Oso, 6% from Chabot, 3% from Bancroft, and 2% from Steinhauer Ranch. All these grapes were hand-picked between September 19 and October 28. This is a winner that is seemingly just entering its plateau of full maturity. It boasts a dense ruby/purple color along with a sweet bouquet of black currants, creme de cassis, chocolate fudge, subtle barbecue scents, and hints of lavender, forest floor and tobacco leaf. Full-bodied, rich and dense, it is a classic Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon, as it has been in just about every vintage. The acidity is relatively low, and the 14.1% alcohol is average for a ripe Napa Cabernet. The pH is 3.71, which is just above average. This is a full-bodied, multidimensional red wine that should continue to drink well for at least another 10-15 years. (RP)  (6/2013)

92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar

 Bright medium ruby. Sexy, complex nose melds currant, black raspberry, dark chocolate, minerals, flowers and incense-like spices. Lush, sweet and tactile, with noteworthy depth and inner-mouth aromatic character to its black fruit, mineral and floral flavors. Ripe acids give this a juicy quality and extend the flavors. The fine tannins dust the tongue and teeth.  (6/2007)

91 points Wine Spectator

 Complex on the palate, firm, intense, vibrant and a touch dry, with drying tannins. The core dark berry flavors are deep and persistent, gaining on the finish.—2003 California Cabernet blind retrospective (July 2013). Drink now through 2019. (Web-2013)

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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.