2011 Beringer "Private Reserve" Napa Valley Chardonnay
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
The 2011 Chardonnay Private Reserve, which all comes from the Gamble Ranch, is a knock-out wine. Winemaker Laurie Hook seems to have backed off some of the aggressive new oak that this cuvee possessed twenty or so years ago. The result is a wine that has some wood, but is more renowned for its beautiful buttery citrus and hints of white peaches, apricots and tropical fruit. Impressively textured, full-bodied, deep, fresh, pure and well-balanced, this is a great example of Napa Chardonnay. Drink it over the next 4-5 years.
The 2011 Chardonnay Private Reserve is the richest and most buttery of the Beringer Chardonnays, but the style remains quite bright and focused just the same. Almonds, honey, nectarines and spices all meld together in an expressive, layered Chardonnay long on class and personality. The Private Reserve sees a high amount of new French oak (88%) and undergoes full malolactic fermentation, both of which contribute to the wine's voluptuous personality.
An elegant style, this is sleek in body and rich and layered in flavor, with a subtle display of ripe spice, baked apple, citrus, pear and honeysuckle flavors. Ends with a tapered finish that shows fine toasty oak. Drink now through 2018.
Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar
Bright medium yellow. Complex, inviting nose melds stone fruits, musky lees, flowers, spices and a truffley, gamey quality. Silky, rich and seamless but with excellent mid-palate energy to the ripe stone fruit and vanillin oak flavors. Fills the mouth without any impression of heaviness, thanks to the racy acidity of the year. Finishes with building stone fruits and lingering notes of spices and flowers. Not at all a honeyed style of chardonnay.
A big, strong Chardonnay with prominent buttered toast, buttered popcorn, vanilla, and pineapple-orange jam flavors. Elaborate and flashy, but obviously made to appeal to the modern style. Drink up.
Beringer's Private Reserve Chardonnay is primarily sourced from their Gamble Ranch property in the Oakville AVA of Napa Valley. Each lot was kept separate from harvest all the way through the winemaking process. The wine was aged for 9 months in 88% new French oak with full malolactic fermentation, and the lees were stirred weekly to enrich the texture and profile. Only the finest lots were then selected for inclusion in this Private Reserve bottling. From winemaker Laurie Hook: "Aromas of hazelnut and grilled pineapple are followed by flavors of lush, tropical fruits, balanced by a hint of citrus. A rich, creamy mouthfeel is rounded out by a lengthy, elegant finish."