2012 Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
Wine & Spirits
*Best Buy* Beringer has made wine from Knights Valley, northwest of Napa, since the late 1970s, and now farms 500 acres of grapes on the cobbly soils that have sloughed off of the volcanic hillsides above. This 2012 is a bundle of energy, the structure tight and stony, the fruit pure, its bold and refreshing black raspberry tone interlaced with aromas that suggest resinous pine needles and a hint of smoked tea. It’s bright and accessible enough to decant now, but in ten years, it will be a rich, savory pleasure to open for prime rib.
The 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Knights Valley is especially deep and powerful in this vintage. Smoke, game, incense, leather, pomegranate, spice and red cherries are some of the many notes that inform this striking Cabernet from Sonoma's Knights Valley, a fertile hunting ground for savory, mineral-driven wines full of character. This is a fabulous wine for the money, but with a production of 90,000 cases, winemaker Laurie Hook shows to achieve quality and value with scale, something that is much harder than it looks. This lineup from Beringer and winemaker Laurie Hook is commendable for many reasons, chief among them a number of large production value-priced gems that deliver fabulous quality for the money. Of course, most of the flagship wines are terrific, but it is the performance of the entry-level wines that is particularly remarkable. (AG)
Easy to approach yet deceptively complex, with ripe red and dark berry, floral and peppery spice notes. The creamy, supple texture invites drinking. Drink now through 2023.
Sporting an attractive mix of sweet berries, cherries, hints of root beer and a touch of tea in its moderately deep and fairly outgoing aromas, this well-ripened, medium-full-bodied look at Cabernet shows good size and depth on the palate as well. Although a bit of back-palate tightness and angularity work against early enjoyment, three to five years of age figure to smooth off the rough edges that need smoothing and should bring everything into mannerly balance.
Robert Parker's Wine Advocate
For its size and prominence, the St. Helena flagship Beringer winery does a remarkable job with the quality of its offerings. They have been fortunate to choose a brilliant line-up of chief winemakers, from Ed Sbragia, to Laurie Hook. The following group of wines, coming primarily from 2012 for the reds, and 2012 and 2013 for the whites, is one of the strongest I have tasted with them. That is reassuring when you consider the enormous size of the umbrella Treasury Estates that owns Beringer. Beringer has been doing a beautiful job in this area, and the medium-bodied 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Knights Valley represents fair value. Its deep ruby/plum color is accompanied by notes of chocolate, toast, blackcurrants and black cherries offered in a lush, sexy, fruit-driven style. It should drink nicely for 7-8 years. (RP)
Napa Valley's venerable Beringer Vineyards has been sourcing Cabernet from just over the hill in Sonoma County for many decades. The Knights Valley vineyard is at a higher elevation, in a valley that's tucked in between the northern tip of Napa Valley and Alexander Valley, directly underneath Mount Saint Helena. It's considered among the winery's flagship varietal wines.