Expensive wine 104: Beringer Vineyards Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 2007

Beringer private reserve cabernet sauvignonThe Beringer private reserve cabernet sauvignon is a beautiful wine – the kind that reminds me why I love wine and how lucky I am do this

The Beringer private reserve cabernet sauvignon ($100, sample, 14.5%) is Napa Valley red wine made to showcase the grapes and the terroir, something that is becoming a quaint, old-fashioned notion. That the wine has aged so well also speaks to its quality and the care taken to make it.

There is just the right amount of ripe fruit (black cherry? blackberry?), so that it fills your mouth but doesn’t overwhelm it. The fruit is preceded by a delightful green herb and mint aroma, and complemented by fine grained tannins, just the right amount of acidity, and a chalky sort of finish. Even the chocolate oak in the back is spot on – noticeable but not the wine’s reason for being.

In this, it’s a textbook example of balance – something one expects at a wine of this price but doesn’t see often enough. Beringer has been doing this with the private reserve for four decades, another impressive achievement.

Highly recommended, and if not a value, a fair expression of what a $100 wine should taste like. The 2007 will be difficult to find, but more recent vintages are readily available, though appreciably more expensive.

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