A Wine I Buy Every Year – Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet (RP95, $89.95)

September 28, 2016 90+ BargainsHigh End Values  No comments

Beringer PR LabelI own, or have owned, the ’02, ’03, ’04, ’05, ’06, ’07, ’09, ’11 and ’12 Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet.  That’s really as much endorsement of this wine as I could possibly provide.  But since that doesn’t make for a very entertaining or informative blog post, let’s discuss why this is such a great wine year in and year out. Beringer owns tons of acres of vineyards all over Napa in many varied appellations (and many more beyond).  This diversity allows them to take the very best fruit of a given year and blend it to create a remarkably consistent and remarkably high quality Cabernet each year.  And while Beringer does make some ultra high volume bulk wine, their Private Reserve Cabernet is, and has always been, one of the very best wines in California.

I visited the winery in May during their 140th anniversary celebration and had a chance to taste the 2012 PR Cabernet and as expected, it was brilliant.  Dense and opaque, but with a finesse and balance I’ve always found very appealing.  It’s this balance that allows this particular wine to age seemingly forever.  In fact, I’ve never had one that I thought was on it’s decline, let alone at peak.  As such, I try not to open them until 10 years after the vintage date, although they certainly drink well before that.  Case in point, I opened a 2011, a poor vintage in Napa, a few weeks ago and it was wonderful but has the stuffing to age 20 years. This is not a cheap wine.  It’s $165 at the winery and $90 at LA Wine Co.  But with top wines in Napa going for $200 to $500+, I still consider Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet a value.

Parker and Galloni agree on the quality, giving it 95 and 96 points respectively.

Buy Here: 2012 Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet $89.95

Robert Parker 95 points

“Revealing the great blending skills of Beringer’s winemaking team, the 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve is a winner. Having purchased Private Reserves for many years, I can attest that they age incredibly well. The 1991, one of the great successes of that vintage, is still aging beautifully at nearly 25 years of age. The sensational 2012 (10,000 cases) boasts an opaque purple color along with abundant aromas of charcoal, burning embers, creme de cassis, chocolate, blackberries and licorice. The long, complex, compelling, full-bodied texture along with terrific purity and a savory, rich mouthfeel result in a classic, quintessential Napa Cabernet Sauvignon to drink now and over the next 20-25 years.

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.”

Antonio Galloni 96 Points

“The flagship 2012 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve is impressive. Voluptuous, powerful and racy, the 2012 is backed up by plenty of underlying structure. Today the flavors are quite primary, but there is good intensity in the red and purplish-toned fruit. With a production of 10,000 cases, this sumptuous beauty should be relatively easy to find. I expect the 2012 will drink well pretty much out of the gate.”

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