When Beringer first planted the vineyard, the distinctive character of the grapes was immediately evident, and it was selected as a regular part of the Private Reserve blend beginning in the 1993 vintage. Robust tannins and an earthy finish make this a superlative display of Howell Mountain fruit.
Beringer’s Steinhauer Ranch, renamed in 2003 to honor the winery’s long-time vineyard manager, Bob Steinhauer, lies just northeast of the town of Angwin, at about 1800 feet elevation. Its soil is volcanic with a richly red color and the texture is friable and loose.
The relaxed, high-quality 2012 harvest was a winemaker’s dream. The ideal growing season—well-timed rains, no frost during bud break, and perfect weather for bloom, berry-set and ripening—was textbook Napa Valley. Long stretches of sunny days coupled with foggy nights gave our 2012 wines exceptionally rich, expressive avors and impeccable balance. We had no weather pressures—from either pending rains or excessive heat—to rush the harvest. Instead, we had the luxury of waiting until the grapes reached absolute perfect maturity.
With Cabernet of this quality, Laurie believes in taking a minimalist approach to winemaking. Vinifying the fruit from each vineyard separately, Laurie used tailored pump-over techniques for optimal extraction, and then aged the wines in hand-selected, custom-toasted barrels of French Nevers oak from coopers with whom she has long-established relationships.