VINTAGE & VINEYARDS:
The 2013 vintage began with a warm, dry spring and relatively early bud break. Summer was notably consistent with even, warm temperatures throughout. Harvest began quite early in August, and by September the majority of whites and lighter reds were completely off the vines. Cool yet sunny weather in October allowed the final grapes on the vine to linger and develop great phenolic and flavor maturities while maintaining steady sugar levels. Overall, it was a high quality crop that was above average in quantity.
Steinhauer vineyard provides the foundation (45%) for the 2013 blend, which has been part of the Private Reserve blend since 1993. A significant portion (22%) comes from Bancroft Ranch atop Howell Mountain as well, and another portion (6%) comes from the St. Helena Home vineyard, which was part of the original acreage that founders Jacob and Frederick Beringer purchased in 1875 with the Beringer estate. Each lot is closely watched during the ripening period to determine ideal pick time. Grapes for the 2013 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon were harvested between September 25th and October 22nd.
The Beringer reserve vineyards offer Cabernet Sauvignon of such quality that a minimalist approach to winemaking has long defined this special blend. Each vineyard is vinified separately and monitored carefully from the moment the fruit comes into the winery at Harvest. Tailored pump-over techniques are used for optimal extraction, and the wine is aged in hand-selected, custom-toasted barrels of new French Nevers oak (84% new). Each lot was aged for 20 months before selection of the final blend, to allow each vineyard to express the depth of its unique terroir.
The 2013 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is an exceptional expression of Cabernet Sauvignon from one of the best vintages in years. The enticing aromas of ripe blackberry, boysenberry, fresh tobacco, brown spice and sweet mint are profound in the glass. Dense and well-structured, its supple tannins are complemented by notes of espresso, mocha and balanced with a silky and elegant finish.
96% Cabernet Sauvignon
3% Cabernet Franc
1% Petit Verdot
VINIFICATION: Vineyard lots harvested and vinified separately . Aged 20 months in new French Nevers oak (84% new), 12 months in bottle
81% Howell Mountain
11% St. Helena
4% Mount Veeder
TA: 5.8 g/L
One of the great efforts of recent years, and not surprisingly so, is the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve, a blend of 81% from Howell Mountain, 11% from St. Helena and the rest Calistoga and Mount Veeder. It is a blend of 96% Cabernet Sauvignon 3% Cabernet Franc and 1% Petit Verdot aged 20 months in 84% new French oak. At 15.2% natural alcohol, this is a big boy, but also classic Napa Cabernet Sauvignon with crème de cassis, graphite, licorice, and a touch of spicy oak. Winemaker Laurie Hook, who has since departed as winemaker, really hit a home run with this beauty. The wine could benefit from 7-10 years cellaring and probably last 30 to 40. When all is said and done, this is an instant classic, the wine full-bodied with oodles of crème de cassis, pen ink, graphite and baking spices. It is multi-dimensional, layered, and one of the all-time great Beringer Private Reserves – and there have been many. - Robert Parker 97 Points
A big, dense wine, the 2013 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve is solid. Much fresher and more delineated than the single-vineyard wines, the 2013 captures the freshness and overall intensity of the year. Graphite, smoke, inky blue/purplish fruit, wild flowers and lavender meld together to form an attractive mélange of aromas and flavors. - Antonio Galloni 95 Points
A classic Napa Cabernet in terms of weight, expression, density and proportion, from the initial spicy, seductive mocha, cedar and cigar box scents to the vibrant offering of perfumed currant, cassis, plum and wild berry. Best of all, the finish retains focus, showing tannic strength without overexerting itself. Long and detailed on the finish, this is an ideal candidate for a decade or more of cellaring. Drink now through 2030. 10,000 cases made.–JL - Wine Spectator Magazine 93 Points