A few quick thoughts on the 2007 Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley.
Beringer was founded in 1876 by Jacob and Frederick Beringer in St. Helena next to the Charles Krug Winery where Jacob worked as a cellar-hand.
In 1970, Beringer was bought by the Swiss firm Nestle who brought Myron Nightingale in to be winemaker. Nightingale introduced the Private Reserve line of Cabernet Sauvignon & Chardonnay in 1976 before sliding into the emeritus role with the promotion of Ed Sbragia in 1984. Sbragia served as head winemaker until 2000–when Laurie Hooks took over–before retiring as emeritus in 2008 to focus on his Sbragia Family Vineyards.
In 2015, Hooks moved to the emeritus role as Mark Beringer, the great-great-grandson of Jacob Beringer, assumed chief winemaking duties.
Today Beringer is owned by Treasury Wine Estates where it is part of a large portfolio of brands.
The 2007 Private Reserve is 100% Cabernet Sauvignon sourced from several vineyards–Bancroft Ranch, Rancho del Oso and Steinhauer Ranch on Howell Mountain, Chabot Vineyard and Home Vineyard in St. Helena, Lampyridae on Mt. Veeder and Marston Ranch on Spring Mountain. Around 9,008 cases were produced.
Medium-plus intensity nose. Very Bordeaux-like mix of tobacco spice, earthy forest floor and floral notes.
On the palate, dark fruits of black cherry and currant appear but the flavors are still very tertiary-driven. Medium-plus acidity maintains freshness and with the soft medium-plus tannins balances the medium-plus bodied fruit. Long finish lingers on the savory notes.
I’ve been rather underwhelmed with more recent vintages of the Private Reserve–especially the highly rated 2012/2013. If those wines were $60-90 they would be fine but they definitely failed to live up to the hype. Tasting this 2007 with 10+ years of age has me thinking that this is a wine that simply needs patience.
If you’re going to spend $130-150 for a new vintage, I definitely encourage holding onto it in order to get your money’s worth. Otherwise, try to find this 2007.