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  • ST: 90

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  • WS: 90

    Wine Spectator Score

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Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Franc Napa Valley Leaning Oak 1998

Winemaker's Notes:

Each year since 1981, Beringer Vineyards' Winemaster Ed Sbragia has crafted his Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon by combining wines from a handful of selected Napa Valley vineyards that he knows from experience producing grapes of the highest quality. Ed finds the Cabernet Sauvignon from each vineyard is so distinctive in character that they act almost like separate varietals, allowing him to create intricate layers of aroma and flavor in his Private Reserve. The benefit of having so many diverse vineyards to choose from came into play significantly in the challenging 1998 vintage. The 1998 growing season started late as a result of cool, wet weather in the spring, and was prolonged when the cool weather continued into the summer. Winemakers Ed Sbragia and Laurie Hook, and vineyard manager Bob Steinhauer mustered all of their patience to wait for the maturity of flavors and tannins they were seeking. Harvest decisions where made, vineyard-by-vineyard and block-by-block, often picking areas of a vineyard four or five different times as the clusters completed their development. Ed Sbragia vinified and aged the individual vineyard lots of fruit from each vineyard block separately to protect their unique, microclimate-influenced aroma and flavor characteristics. During fermentation, macerations with gentle pump-over regimes were tailored to each lot and closely watched to get optimal extraction of color and flavor. Ed hand-selected new thin-staved French Never oak barrels to age the wines. "Choosing specific barrels to use with the different lots is as important a decision as any I make for the Private Reserve Cabernet," Ed explains. "Forest sources, aging regimes and coopers all play a part in the characteristics that a barrel imparts and I've found that the Seguin Moreau barrels from Nevers do a nice job of softly integrating with the wine." During the 23 months of barrel aging, Ed tasted the lots regularly to follow their development and make further selections, only allowing the best wines to go forward as potential reserve components - quality decisions that resulted in a case production that is approximately 30 percent of a normal vintage. After he determined that the wines had achieved supple tannins, Ed removed the lots from barrel and created his Private Reserve blend. He layered aromas and flavors of red fruit from the St. Helena Home with Chabot's distinctive black currant and hints of mint and cedar, and Tre Colline's lightly earthy, black and red berry characteristics. To highlight more dark fruit flavors and aromas, Ed added Cabernet Sauvignon from Bancroft Ranch and then completed the blend with a small amount of wine from Marston Vineyard that provided a perfumed scent of wild berries and its distinctive mineral earthiness. Wine Advocate | Robert M. Parker, Jr. | December 23, 2000Exhibits a dense ruby/purple color as well as a moderatelyintense bouquet of black currants infused with olive, smoke, licorice, and new oak. Supple, medium-bodied, and surprisingly evolved, with sweet fruit on the mid-palate and in the finish, it is a harmonious, charming offering to enjoy over the next 7-8 years. Wine Spectator | James Laube | November 15, 2002Well-balanced, with a lean, trim core of focused herb and mineral-laced currant and black cherry flavors...

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  • 1998

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Color: Red
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
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Beringer Vineyards:
  It is impossible to take Beringer’s long history lightly. With their 215 acre plot of land purchased in 1875 and the winery founded in 1876, Jacob and Frederick Beringer’s winery is the oldest continually operating winery in Napa Valley. In 2001, it was named a historic district in the National Register for Historic Places. Current winemaker Laurie Hook and winemaster Ed ... Read more
  It is impossible to take Beringer’s long history lightly. With their 215 acre plot of land purchased in 1875 and the winery founded in 1876, Jacob and Frederick Beringer’s winery is the oldest continually operating winery in Napa Valley. In 2001, it was named a historic district in the National Register for Historic Places. Current winemaker Laurie Hook and winemaster Ed Sbragia continue to draw from over a dozen vineyards to create world-class wines from varying soil compositions and climates. The winery managed to survive, and even thrive, during Prohibition by selling sacramental wines with a federal license. Since the wine was being made for religious purposes, it was legal! A unique aspect of Beringer is the tunnel system that was carved into the side of Spring Mountain around 1880. Chinese immigrant workers, the same workers that helped build the Trans-Continental Railroad, spent years hand-chiseling the 1,200 feet of tunnels. To this day, the tunnels act as a natural insulator, keeping the temperature between 58 and 60 degrees year-round, ideal for storing wine. Read less

Member Reviews for Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Franc Napa Valley Leaning Oak

Add your review
Snooth User: mcbeth1044
3933038
4.50 5
12/20/2007

omg this is so smooth and so many flavors when you first open the smell and taste are so unique, i recommend this to anyone who can afford.


External Reviews for Beringer Vineyards Cabernet Franc Napa Valley Leaning Oak

External Review
Source: JJ Buckley Fine Wines
09/30/2011

Saturated medium ruby. Black cherry, mocha, roast coffee and hints of roasted nuts and game on the nose. Lush and sweet for 98, with impressive palate presence and depth of flavor. Ripe note of dark chocolate in the mouth. Big but ripe tannins coat ... Stephen Tanzers IWC. A Cabernet Sauvignon wine from California in USA. 1998 Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve 750ml


External Review
Source: JJ Buckley Fine Wines
10/01/2011

Ruby-red. Cherry, redcurrant, plum, lead pencil and loam on the nose. Almost magically sweet, deep and lush for the vintage, with spicy red fruit flavors framed by harmonious, ripe acids. At once gentle and gripping. Finishes very long, with big, swe... Stephen Tanzers IWC. A Cabernet Sauvignon wine from California in USA. 1998 Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve 750ml



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Each year since 1981, Beringer Vineyards' Winemaster Ed Sbragia has crafted his Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon by combining wines from a handful of selected Napa Valley vineyards that he knows from experience producing grapes of the highest quality. Ed finds the Cabernet Sauvignon from each vineyard is so distinctive in character that they act almost like separate varietals, allowing him to create intricate layers of aroma and flavor in his Private Reserve. The benefit of having so many diverse vineyards to choose from came into play significantly in the challenging 1998 vintage. The 1998 growing season started late as a result of cool, wet weather in the spring, and was prolonged when the cool weather continued into the summer. Winemakers Ed Sbragia and Laurie Hook, and vineyard manager Bob Steinhauer mustered all of their patience to wait for the maturity of flavors and tannins they were seeking. Harvest decisions where made, vineyard-by-vineyard and block-by-block, often picking areas of a vineyard four or five different times as the clusters completed their development. Ed Sbragia vinified and aged the individual vineyard lots of fruit from each vineyard block separately to protect their unique, microclimate-influenced aroma and flavor characteristics. During fermentation, macerations with gentle pump-over regimes were tailored to each lot and closely watched to get optimal extraction of color and flavor. Ed hand-selected new thin-staved French Never oak barrels to age the wines. "Choosing specific barrels to use with the different lots is as important a decision as any I make for the Private Reserve Cabernet," Ed explains. "Forest sources, aging regimes and coopers all play a part in the characteristics that a barrel imparts and I've found that the Seguin Moreau barrels from Nevers do a nice job of softly integrating with the wine." During the 23 months of barrel aging, Ed tasted the lots regularly to follow their development and make further selections, only allowing the best wines to go forward as potential reserve components - quality decisions that resulted in a case production that is approximately 30 percent of a normal vintage. After he determined that the wines had achieved supple tannins, Ed removed the lots from barrel and created his Private Reserve blend. He layered aromas and flavors of red fruit from the St. Helena Home with Chabot's distinctive black currant and hints of mint and cedar, and Tre Colline's lightly earthy, black and red berry characteristics. To highlight more dark fruit flavors and aromas, Ed added Cabernet Sauvignon from Bancroft Ranch and then completed the blend with a small amount of wine from Marston Vineyard that provided a perfumed scent of wild berries and its distinctive mineral earthiness. Wine Advocate | Robert M. Parker, Jr. | December 23, 2000Exhibits a dense ruby/purple color as well as a moderatelyintense bouquet of black currants infused with olive, smoke, licorice, and new oak. Supple, medium-bodied, and surprisingly evolved, with sweet fruit on the mid-palate and in the finish, it is a harmonious, charming offering to enjoy over the next 7-8 years. Wine Spectator | James Laube | November 15, 2002Well-balanced, with a lean, trim core of focused herb and mineral-laced currant and black cherry flavors...

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