2011 Beringer "Private Reserve" Napa Valley Chardonnay

SKU #1126300 95 points 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.  (10/ 2013)

92 points Antonio Galloni

 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.  (11/ 2013)

92 points Wine Spectator

 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.  (7/ 2013)

91 points 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.  (6/ 2013)

Wine Enthusiast

 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.  (5/ 2013)

K&L Notes

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."

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Price: $29.99

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Varietal:

Chardonnay

- It's hard to believe that up until about 30 years ago, this extremely popular varietal hid behind the veil of geographical names like Chablis and Puligny-Montrachet. Now grown all over the world and bottled by its varietal name, Chardonnay has achieved a level of branding unlike any other wine. Surprisingly, though, what you get when you buy Chardonnay can differ greatly from country to country and even within one country, depending on the climate where it's grown and how it is vinified and aged. From fresh, crisp and minerally with apple and lemon notes to rich and buttery with tropical fruit overtones, Chardonnay runs the gamut. In France's Burgundy, Chardonnay is the source of the prized wines of Chablis, Corton-Charlemagne, Mācon, Meursault and Montrachet. It also the foundation of exceptional Champagne, where it is blended with Pinot Noir and Pinot Meunier or vinified on its own into Blanc de Blancs. It is also extremely popular in California, and is gaining popularity in Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Spain and South Africa.
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.
Alcohol Content (%): 14.7