This wine is still young and precocious, but don’t judge it too quickly. Let it air in your glass, and watch how it changes. One minute it’s all cherries and smoke; the next it heaves up a great draught of currants, cocoa and cedar. It’s a big wine but deceptive; the tannins are airy and lilting, there’s charm and underneath, enormous complexity. It’s best left alone for a few more years, but it’s really very lovely now.
The 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve reveals more concentration as well as higher tannin than the 1995. I know it is a trade-off, but I suspect this vintage will not be as sexy in its youthfulness as the 1995. The black ruby/purple-colored 1996 offers more licorice, in addition to the obvious levels of pain grille, jammy black currant fruit, and spice notes. Structured, full-bodied, and powerful, this may be a Private Reserve to cellar for several years, and consume over the subsequent 15-18.
The Beringer history dates back to the year 1868, when Jacob Beringer, enticed by the opportunities of the new world, sailed from his home in Mainz, Germany, to New York. However, after hearing that the rocky hillside soil and fertile valley floor of Napa Valley resembled that of vineyards back home in Germany, Jacob made his way west. Jacob and his brother Frederick purchased 215 acres of land in 1875, and became one of the first wineries in Napa Valley.
Since then, Beringer has honed, deepened, and expanded the art of winemaking. They pursue balance between modern technology and time-tested winemaking traditions, resulting in wines of global recognition.
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