Beringer Vineyards has owned and farmed its Knights Valley vineyards since the mid-1960s, when the
Beringer family recognized that the cobbled, rocky alluvial soils were a great place to grow high-quality
wine grapes. The Knights Valley designation was first used on a Beringer label in 1974 and Beringer was
instrumental in garnering official recognition for the area in 1983 as an American Viticulture Area (AVA) designation.
Richly colored in an inky purple hue, the wine offers aromas and flavors of dark fruits, featuring blackberry, currants, smoked meats and baking spices, with menthol and cedar cigar box notes accented by rich pipe tobacco. Trending toward full body with muscular tannins, the finish is long and lingering, with a dense texture that promises a long and rewarding life cycle.
The 2015 growing season in Sonoma and Knights Valley was marked by pleasant weather with little pressure from heat spikes or unseasonable rain. A dry winter, common in recent years, was quickly followed by an equally dry spring, leading to an early bud break and fast start to the growing season. Warm weather continued throughout late spring and summer, allowing for the steady and sure development of flavors. Harvest began early in August, and the overall quality, complexity and balance in the vines produced exceptional fruit for the winemakers. The impact of the continuing drought was evident in slightly lighter crop loads, but the reduction in size was offset by an increase in quality.
Knights Valley Reserve is a barrel selection, a blend of the best vineyard lots in a given vintage. To maintain the unique characteristics of the different lots from varying areas of the vineyard, they are kept separate through vinification and aging, and only the most expressive are chosen for this Reserve bottling. Extended maceration created more dominant tannins, enhancing the lush mouthfeel of the blend while extracting a maximum of color, aromas and flavors. The wine is aged in small French Nevers oak barrels (56% percent new) for nineteen months, enhancing the rich mouthfeel and structure. A small portion of Malbec and Petit Verdot were also added to add further complexities to this memorable wine.