Beringer Private Reserve 2015
– 99 points!

Beringer is the oldest continuously operating winery in the Napa Valley, somehow managing to maintain production during prohibition by making sacramental wine as well as the real stuff to be sold under the legal radar.  It was founded in 1876 by two brothers from Germany, Jacob and Frederick Beringer.  Jacob learned the winemaking craft by working for Charles Krug, one of the first commercial winemakers in Napa.  Frederick, handling the financial side, bought land adjacent to Krug.  Beringer has since become a vast operation with countless bottlings up and down the price scale.  While Beringer is known to many for its budget offerings, its higher end wines are very good, the fruit of a century and a half of experience and its original, long ago land stake in prime Napa Valley terroir.
Beringer can claim many firsts as leaders in California winemaking.  They were one of the first gravity fed grape processing facilities and among the first to dig underground caves and cellars (which have natural optimal temperature and humidity conditions).  They were the first to give public tours in 1934, starting a Napa Valley hospitality tradition.  They are the first and only winery to have both a red and a white wine named #1 Wine of the Year by Wine Spectator Magazine.
The Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is from grapes that are the pick of the crop from Beringer’s top vineyards.  It is a Napa Cap worth the lucre, and though not cheap, it is without cult Cali price inflation.  See reviews below. 
Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 2015
Regular: $154.99
Sale Price: $139.97
James Suckling, 99pts. -  “The spice and walnut aromas are so enticing. Undertones of blackberries and black truffles. Full-bodied, dense and layered with fantastic tension and seamless tannins. It goes on for minutes. All about classic structure and beauty. Try in 2021.”  (5/2018)
Jeb Dunnuck, 97pts. -  “I was able to taste to two vintages of the Private Reserve, and the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve comes from a vintage loved by the estate. The final blend is the normal 97% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot brought up in 85% new French oak. This full-bodied, ripe, voluptuous beauty shows the vintage to a T, offering a blast of sweet blackcurrants, licorice, ground herbs, and graphite aromas and flavors. Blockbuster styled, with full body and an expansive, sexy texture, it has the depth and density to continue drinking brilliantly for 20+ years.”  (1/2019)
Wine Advocate, 95+pts. – “Containing the tiniest splashes of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve has a deep garnet-purple color and nose of plum preserves, baked blackberries and cassis with hints of menthol, sandalwood and chocolate box. Full-bodied with soft, seductive tannins and a lively backbone supporting the generous, ripe, opulent fruit, it has a decadent spiciness and great length.”  (10/2017)
Past Cellar Selections:
Huët Clos du Bourg 2019 – Grand Cru from the Loire Valley
Heitz, Dunn, Continuum . . . What is a Cult Cali Red?
Chandon de Briailles - Wines Without Artifice
Magnum Bottles from CVNE Imperial
Beaux Freres Pinot Noir 2018
Viña Real Rioja Gran Reserva – What were you doing in 1987?
Domaine Simon Bize 2018 – Value Burgundy
Saint-Préfert Chateauneuf-du-Pape 2018 - 96/97 Pts.
Domaine du Pelican – Burgundy Meets Jura
Viña Almaviva 2016 – #10 on Wine Spectator top 100
La Rioja Alta “890” Gran Reserva Rioja 2004
Shafer Vineyards – Relentless, One Point Five and Chardonnay
Alion and Pintia – The Other Vega Sicilias
Three Oderros: for the Picnic Table, the Dinner Table and the Cellar
Burgundy with age from Jean Chauvenet

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