(From 2009 Vintage) Aromas of blackberry, cassis and sarsaparilla are complemented by spice notes. A note of sweet mint leads into a ripe fruit core full of blackberry and currant flavors. A pleasing finish accents the full body and smooth tannins.
Wine & Spirits(From 2005 Vintage) Rating: 93/100 - As reviewed by Wine & Spirits Magazine on 04/09. A great vintage of Private Reserve, this reflects the sensibilities of two winemakers: Ed Sbragia, who has shepherded the blend for three decades, and Laurie Hook, who joined Sbragia in 1986. Hook's influence on the Beringer style has been subtle but significant over the past several years. The tightness of this wine and the more overt minerality in its tannin provide a defined arc of flavor, with firmer edges than often appeared in the smooth, sleek Private Reserve blends of the past. A large portion of the wine comes from Howell Mountain (Bancroft Ranch, Steinhauer and Rancho del Oso make up 60 percent), with another 25 percent from Beringer's St. Helena Home Ranch. The detail in the tannin shapes the complexity of the wine, the dark fruit and licorice flavors smoothed by oak. It's a formidable cabernet, deserving of ten years in the cellar to reach peak drinking.