2014 Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve

Year: 2014
Appellation: Napa Valley
Country: USA - California
Wine Spectator: 90
Wine Advocate: 95
Vinous Media: 94
Connoisseurs' Guide: 90
James Suckling: 95
Jeb Dunnuck: 96
Wine Enthusiast: 90
Red Wine
Alcohol by Volume: 15.0%
Price :
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"Centered on a firm core of dark, rich, cedary blackberry and wild berry flavors, with licorice, anise, spice, herb and woody notes. The wood is the major flavor and textural theme, gaining a stronger sense of balance on the finish. Best from 2018 through 2030. 7,194 cases made.-JL " (WS)

"Always the best of all of them is the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve, which in this vintage is a blend of 62% from their Howell Mountain holdings, 22% from St. Helena, 7% from Spring Mountain, 7% from Mt. Veeder and the rest from other sources. Only 7,383 cases were made of this blend of 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and the rest Merlot and Petit Verdot. The wine has an inky purple color, a big, sweet kiss of pen ink, graphite, cedar wood, licorice, blackberries and blackcurrants with some background oak, but it's dominated by the fruit extract and the full-bodied richness and glycerin this wine possesses. The texture is open and lush, and the wine more forward and sexy than the 2013 was at a similar stage of development. It should drink well for 20-25 years, as these wines have an impeccable track record of ageability.

As I have written in the past, the Beringer Private Reserve program incorporates many of the single vineyards that they own and also bottle separately in lots from 250 up to nearly 1,000 cases. These wines are generally only available at the winery or through their membership club. Various parts of these single vineyards are all put through taste trials, and the result, when there's a unanimity of opinion, is the great Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon from Beringer, one of the most successful Cabernets of Napa Valley." (WA)

"Beringer's flagship 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve is mostly Howell Mountain fruit. Rich and seamless on the palate, the 2014 possesses striking depth, along with scents of black cherry, chocolate, menthol and spices. Interestingly, the Private Reserve is more accessible than some of the single-vineyard Cabernets. Accordingly, it will drink well with minimal cellaring." (VM)

"Nothing if not ambitious and an intense and outgoing Cabernet that is fully ripe, highly extracted and decked out with a wealth of sweet oak, the 2014 Beringer Private Reserve is, at least for the time being, a wine of great presence and unquestioned richness but little finesse. It is fleshy and full with a momentary suggestion of suppleness before fairly imposing astringency cuts in, and it will take a good five to ten years for its tannic rusticity to ease. Make no mistake, it has the substance and depth to support the protracted cellaring it needs, but time is a must here and hasty drinking is ill-advised. Reviewed: August 2018" (CG)

"Aromas of blueberry and blackberry character. Hints of dark fruit, violets and stones. Full-bodied, powerful and dense with beautiful fruit concentration and silky tannins. Shows reserve and finesse with structure. Better in 2021." (JS)

"The flagship is the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve and it's a blend of 97% Cabernet Sauvignon and the balance Petit Verdot and Malbec that's mostly from Howell Mountain, with small lots from St Helena, Spring Mountain, Mount Veeder, and Calistoga. Aged 20 months in 82% new French oak, it sports an inky, opaque color to go with killer notes of blackcurrants, scorched earth, hints of oak, graphite and minerality. Rich, full-bodied and beautifully concentrated, it's tight and backward, and is more reminiscent of a 2013 than a 2014. It has the purity to drink nicely today, yet needs 4-5 years of cellaring to show its potential." (JD)

"The reserve-worthy wine is made from vineyards across the valley, with the majority coming from Howell Mountain and St. Helena. It reflects the power of mountain fruit with dense sweet tannins, black-inky color and swathes of toasted oak, the big body accented in sanguine currant and cassis." (WE)

Winery Notes:
Tasting Notes:
Open and approachable, with soft and silky tannins, this expression of Private Reserve shows plenty of dark fruit aromas and flavors, with blueberry, blackberry and black cherry much in evidence alongside aromas of violets, licorice and evident oak spice. Wonderful upon release, the wine will reward patient aging for many years.

Vineyard Notes:
Bancroft Ranch and Steinhauer Ranch vineyards atop Howell Mountain provide the foundation (62%) for the 2014 blend. A significant portion (20%) comes from the St. Helena Home Vineyard, as well as the Chabot Vineyard in the St. Helena AVA. Marston Ranch Vineyard on Spring Mountain and Derr Family Vineyard on Mount Veeder both provide 7% each to the final blend, and finally, 4% of the Cabernet Sauvignon was sourced from the Kenefick Vineyard in Calistoga. Each lot is closely watched during the ripening period to determine ideal pick time. Grapes for the 2014 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon were harvested between September 11th and October 10th.

Winemaker's Notes:
The Beringer reserve vineyards offer Cabernet Sauvignon of such quality that a minimalist approach to winemaking has long defined this special blend. Each vineyard is vinified separately and monitored carefully from the moment the fruit comes into the winery at harvest. Tailored pump-over techniques are used for optimal extraction, and the wine is aged in hand-selected, custom-toasted barrels of French Nevers oak (82% new). Each lot was aged for 20 months before selection of the final blend, to allow each vineyard to express the depth of its unique terroir.