The 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve is from only two sources (somewhat unusual), the Steinhauer Vineyard on Howell Mountain (71%) and the St. Helena Home Vineyard (29%). It achieved 14.7% natural alcohol and a relatively high pH of 3.9, which suggests plenty of ripeness, no doubt from the Howell Mountain component. Aged 18 months in new French oak and 12 months in the bottle before being released, this beautiful Cabernet demonstrates the commitment to quality that exists at Beringer despite its colossal size. The 2011 exhibits a deep ruby/purple color along with a sweet bouquet of chocolate, red and black currants, graphite and spring flowers. Ripe and medium-bodied with gorgeous fruit, and no astringency or herbaceousness, this is a lovely, soft, round, juicy wine to drink over the next decade.
"The 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve is quite silky, open and expressive in this vintage. Dark red cherries, plums, mocha, spices and licorice all flesh out in the glass. The vineyard blend in 2011 provides fascinating insights into how winemaker Laurie Hook handled the vintage. Hook blended the 2011 with just two vineyards, but in a significant departure from the past, built the Reserve on a core of 71% Steinhauer fruit from Howell Mountain, along with 29% Home Vineyard fruit and a drop of Morisoli. Up until single-vineyard wines became all the rage a few decades ago, blending fruit from various sites was the norm in most winemaking regions (Burgundy being the notable exception), an approach that is especially helpful in challenging vintages. Beringer did a great job with the 2011 Reserve. Not surprisingly, production is down sharply." - Antonio Galloni, Vinous Media
With meticulous care to the vines during the 2011 vintage, we achieved a small crop of vibrantly flavored grapes. The small yields resulted from an unusually wet winter and spring, which delayed bloom and reduced berry-set. The cooler-than-average growing season made the onset to harvest one of the latest in recent memory. While the cool temperatures presented some challenges that required nerves of steel, we were rewarded by the opportunity to make truly elegant wine with layers of complex flavors.