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International Wine Cellar
May 201091+ Good deep ruby. High-toned aromas of mocha, licorice and smoke, with an almost exotic earthy element. Then fleshy and sweet but laid-back, with a chewy, rocky character to its currant and loam flavors. Concentrated, youthful wine, finishing with big, building tannins and lingering sweetness. Has a lot in common with the 2006, but this may have a better balance for aging.
May 201791 (14.5% alcohol): Bright, moderately saturated ruby-red. Very ripe aromas of black raspberry, cassis, dark chocolate and licorice verge on porty. Wonderfully silky and fine-grained; very ripe but not as medicinal or porty as some '07s, showing lovely energy and salty, mineral-driven lift. In fact, in a rather restrained style for the year. This nicely balanced wine finishes with firm, dusty tannins but is close to drinking now.
December 201090 I also thought the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon Quarry Vineyard and 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon St. Helena Home Vineyard were outstanding. Soft, ripe, round and plush, both are easy to drink. As always, Beringer sells all their single vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons that make up the blend for the Private Reserve to their VIP customers at the winery or through their mailing list. Interestingly, each year when I taste through these wines, the sum of the individual parts is always the best wine. In short, the Private Reserve always seems to outscore and show more complexity than most of the single vineyard Cabernets. Nevertheless, it is an exercise in single vineyard terroirs and is an interesting process. Usually there are around 250 cases of each of these single vineyard offerings. The single vineyard offerings are all noteworthy, and analytically, they are more similar than dissimilar. The alcohols range from a low of 14.5% to 14.9%. Not surprisingly, one of my favorites, the Bancroft Ranch, was the largest component part of the Private Reserve.