Big Names in California Wine, Part 3: Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2010

First off, Happy National Wine Day to all my readers in the USA! This is definitely something I can and will celebrate on this dreary rainy day.

In part three of this series, I enjoyed Beringer’s 2010 Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. Beringer is one of the renowned Napa, California wineries, established in Victorian times by German winemaker Jacob Beringer. He and his brother purchased the first property in 1875 after a short time in New York where the climate was not what they were looking for. The warm climate and rocky, well-draining soil in Napa County was more like their homeland in the Rhine Valley and hence they settled and started their American dream here. Workers who had just helped build the trans-continental railroad, dug the tunnels where they still store and age their wine. They then built a mansion house that was a reconstruction of their home in Germany, called the “Rhine house.”  Today, they have vineyards up and down the valley from Howell Mountain to Carneros. They are the longest continually-running vineyard in the valley, surviving the dark days of prohibition. Currently under the helm of Winemaker Laurie Hook and Winemaker Emeritus Ed Sbragia, they are doing delicious things.

This particular wine comes from their Knights Valley vineyard which is located 17 miles north of the winery just over the border in Sonoma County. They grow and vinify several Bordeaux varieties here and have named a few wines after the alluvial soils the vines grow in. This vineyard has been active for three decades and makes excellent Bordeaux-style wines.

This is a very nice example of Napa Cabernet. It is deep ruby in color and on the nose are blackberry, anise, cinnamon and pepper as well as subtle toasty oak aromas. The fruit is very ripe, and with the nicely balanced tannins and acidity, this is a fine wine indeed that I suspect would age well long after the roughly 3 years this one lasted!  It has a medium plus body and finish, and is very elegant. Definitely in the class of equally-priced Bordeaux. I am so glad I have given some of these larger California wineries another chance to impress me. There is some really fine wine being made here, even if they’re not cult/boutique (read: very expensive) wines. Plus, I’ve learned a lot about their history which has brought me new-found respect for them. At $33 it is a premium wine, but not unreasonable for a quality wine from this region. Perhaps I should have shared this one with my friends, but at least I shared it with you, my readers…

Next week, I will conclude this series with a Chalone!

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