A classic blend of mountain and valley fruit yields both structure and richness. The tufa-rich Bancroft Ranch and volcanic Steinhauer Ranch vineyards atop Howell Mountain provide the foundation (62%) for the 2015 blend. A significant portion also comes from the iron-rich Home and Chabot vineyards (28%) in the St. Helena AVA. Spring Mountain’s Marston Ranch and Mt. Veeder’s Derr Family vineyards (10%) round out the final blend. Harvest occurred between September 10th and October 20th.
Beringer’s 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 tailored pump-over techniques are used for optimal extraction. The wine is aged for 20 months in hand-selected, custom-toasted barrels of French Nevers oak (85% new) before assemblage, where winemaker Mark Beringer prioritizes the expression of vintage and our vineyards’ unique terroir.
Yields were down in 2015 as a result of the continuing drought and further reduced by cold weather during flowering. However, a warm summer with almost no rain allowed for optimal ripening, and the resulting harvest, while small, was of outstanding quality. Grapes are small and packed with flavor and color, creating wines with excellent extraction and structure.
Richly garnet and purple in color, the wine opens with aromas of oak spice and dark black fruits framed with chocolate mocha. The palate is dominated by mountain blackberries, plum, and cassis, accented by black truffles. The fruit is opulent with soft, silky tannins and excellent structure. A wine built for the ages, with much yet to be revealed.
Vineyard lots harvested and vinified separately. Aged 20 months in French Nevers oak (85% new) plus 12 months in bottle.
- 62% Howell Mountain
- 28% St. Helena
- 6% Spring Mountain
- 4% Mount Veeder
- VARIETAL COMPOSITION:
- 97% Cabernet Sauvignon
- 2% Cabernet Franc
- 1% Petit Verdot
- Alc: 15.2%
- TA: 5.7 g/L
- pH: 3.81
#24 TOP 100 WINES OF 2018 - The spice and walnut aromas are so enticing. Undertones of blackberries and black truffles. Full-bodied, dense and layered with fantastic tension and seamless tannins. It goes on for minutes. All about classic structure and beauty. Try in 2021. (TOP 100 AMERICAN WINES OF 2018 #9) - James Suckling 99 Points
I was able to taste to two vintages of the Private Reserve, and the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve comes from a vintage loved by the estate. The final blend is the normal 97% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot brought up in 85% new French oak. This full-bodied, ripe, voluptuous beauty shows the vintage to a T, offering a blast of sweet blackcurrants, licorice, ground herbs, and graphite aromas and flavors. Blockbuster styled, with full body and an expansive, sexy texture, it has the depth and density to continue drinking brilliantly for 20+ years. - Jeb Dunnuck 97 Points
Beautifully proportioned for the long haul, this is deep, complex, firm, focused and structured, showing tiers of savory herb, dark berry, cedar and sage flavors, ending with ripe, chewy tannins. Best from 2020 through 2032. 7,716 cases made. -JL - Wine Spectator Magazine 92 Points
Relatively recent changes in winemakers has Beringer’s flagship wine in transition, it seems. The 2015 is riper and noticeably sweeter than previous vintages of Private Reserve, and there’s a heavy reliance on chocolatey oak. It’s a style that’s quite popular in the States, and this is well-crafted with that intent in mind. 85% new French oak. - Decanter Magazine 91 Points