Fully mature with aromas of tobacco, lingering oak, cedar, raspberry. Wild raspberry notes with dried and crushed cherry and cedar. Delicate palate, but with power. Full body, full length and finish. Outstanding. No need to wait on this one any longer.
Drinking incredibly well right now. Still plenty of acidity to go along with the remaining dark berry/fruit notes. Plenty of secondary characteristics on the back end of this. Other's notes of cedar are spot on. Delicious.
Blood red. Camphor, cedar, a hint of iodine, grilled meat. Still a big, full round wine. Tannins are now softer, but the structure is still there. The wine moves from some rich red fruits to game, burnt toast, currants, plums and a forest floor. This wine has aged very well.
Valentines Day : Bring a Bottle you LOVE (Jason and Mariellen's): Pop and pour from a magnum, drank a glass over 45 minutes and then another small glass 3 hours later. The nose is complex and enticing. cedar, tobacco, earth, dark fruit of black raspberry and black cherry. A bit of cassis. The palate is nice enough, although it is slightly thin and a bit short of finish. Still, all in all, a great complex wine.
Lovely on the nose with Asian spice and tobacco. Luxurious in the mouth. Tannins full resolved. Cassis, spice, and just a slight hint of milk chocolate. The finish was medium long. This is what many wines aspire to be when they grow up.
The color is still healthy red. Beautifully mature bouquet with soft sweet spices and some smoke. On the palate a full bodied and soft wine with a lot of sweet spices, fine acidity and powdery tannin. Fully mature now and it will stay on this level for some years.
Rich, full bodied, plush and polished, with a long, fresh, classic, fruit filled finish that really leave you with a great impression. For a wine of this quality and style, this is a steal in today’s marketplace!
9/5-7/15-I had a lot of trepidation in opening this wine. I bought it at a supermarket, perhaps ten years ago, it's been stored cool but not perfect, and it's 18 years old. The cork broke in half but I was able to extract the remainder with minimal cork falling into the wine. Would it still be good? You bet! The wine had a brick color but was still viable and hadn't corked. The balance was superb, close to a Ridge Monte Bellow 2001,even though the Beringer is 100% cab. The tannins are all but resolved. This is how I expect a well aged wine to evolve into, a well balanced, instant gratification experience. But after I left the balance in the bottle for TWO days, the fruit became insanely good and came to the front. I initially thought during the first day of tasting that due to its age the fruit had settled back, but it is still there. The bottle was stored on its side and I see a layer of sediment practically etched into the bottle. This is a tribute to fine winemaking, and i know this wine could go even farther for aging, but I would be afraid to say how much longer. I want to say another ten years but that might be overly optimistic, but based on what I tasted over a three day period, I don't think it's out of the question.
Dark ruby/purple with lightening around the edges. Elegant airy nose of cassis, dark berry liquer, leather, violets and hint of earth. A supremely balanced wine with ripe, dense dark fruits, medium (-) acidity, velvet mouthfeel, fully resolved tannins and a perfumed finish. All the components have melded together for such a harmonious wine.
Absolutely screaming with California's best stuff! The tannins are partly faded but still present and holding their own. The fruit is mellowed and dark. One of the best integrated New World wines I have had in quite some time. Wonderfully integrated! Bordeauxesque nose and finish. Drink now or over next few years. It is at its peak.
Dark opaque purple color. No apparent bricking. Somewhat volatile nose with some dark fruit hints, some wood. Somewhat tight on first taste. Some cassis flavor some prune flavor. A still powerful wine although the tannins are fairly resolved.
The star of the weekend. 1997 must have been a great year, this wine is flawless for its age. Highly opaque, garnet color. A lot of rim variation. A little sediment. Medium fruit and earth intensity. Organic. Aromas of dark fruit and flowers, leather, black pepper, iron and blood. Bone-Dry. Medium acid. Medium minus tannin. Medium minus alcohol. And a medium to long finish. This wine is ready to drink! Perhaps beyond peak, but, at 18 years I certainly wish that this wasn't our last bottle. And, I suspect its got several years of bottle life left in it. Major Kudos to Beringer.
At first, reluctant to show its stuff. After a couple of hours in the decanter, the wine blossomed. Well integrated tannins, fruit and acidity, and a balanced medium body. Aromas of black fruits, vanilla, spices, chocolate and coffee. Delicious. Drinking now and over the next five years.
Drank very well. Nice fruit on the nose and initially a little tannin but mellowed quickly and drank with excellent balance. Didn't need time to open ... tannins faded in 10 mins so POP worked well. medium finish ... wouldn't let it sit any more. This was my last bottle and am happy to have had it now. Doesn't need any more time at all.
A very profound wine with a bouquet of cherries, cassies, cedar and even some truffles. Medium to full bodied this wine shows no sign of age. I fully agree with stirling, that this wine is at its peak right now but it should easily stay there for another 5-10 years.
The 1997 (13.9% alcohol) reveals a medium dark red that fades towards the rim. A very expressive nose of cherry, blackberry, menthol, cigar box and earth keeps you coming back to the glass for another view of its evolution. The body, now at age 17, has mellowed back to medium, though surely it would have been quite full in its youth. Black cherry and currant dominates the palate that has a rich yet satiny mouthfeel that only ageing can deliver. Elegance trumps power in this fully mature wine. Medium acidity helps add to a long and lively finish. Not showing any signs of fatigue, this wine is at peak but could go at least 5 years longer and still deliver much pleasure. http://www.advinetures.ca/blog/1997-beringer-cabernet-sauvignon-private-reserve/
Opened several hours before consuming, and allowed to slow-ox. Decanted just before consuming. Bright ruby colour. Gorgeous nose of red and black fruits. Thick in the glass. Beautifully balanced on the palate, with layers of fruit and soft tannins and acidity. At its peak.
This is a well aged cab. It is still well structured and well balanced. The fruit is in the background now, but nice secondary notes of chocolate, cedar ... with hints of cassis. The color is still good. This is an elegant wine, but a bit straight forward. (magnum, bought originally from winery)
Excellent dark ruby color. Very distinctive nose of ripe cassis, black currants and eucalyptus. Quite full and ripe with rich flavors that echo the nose. Smooth and silky with strong notes of bitter chocolate and eucalyptus on the tannic finish. When I drink Cabernet-based wines, it's usually Bordeaux and it's not like I don't enjoy an occasional properly made and balanced Napa Cab; and I've really enjoyed some older Beringer Reserve's from the '80's, and while the component parts are tasty, this is just one-dimensional and boring to me.
A beautiful, well aged California Cabernet. Cassis, earth, and dark chocolate are plentiful. Still has a few years left but is very enjoyable now. Opened and left for a couple of hours. Seems to be the right amount of air.
Purchased 3 from the winery in 2009. Drank one without making notes two years ago, but remember it as a full throttle California Cab with little subtlety. Opened this bottle and poured through an aerator. Dark purple with greasy legs. Plenty of fruit, earth, and leather on the nose. Surprisingly tannic given the age of the wine, but with plenty of fruit on the palate. Reasonable finish. I do not think this is on its last legs and will wait a couple of years to enjoy the last bottle.
Decanted this bottle and it was outstanding from the start. It had nice nose and color. The wine was clearly aged but there was a lot of fruit left, good earth taste and balanced tannins. we really enjoyed it. I see no reason to age this vintage further.
THIS WINE HAS BEEN LYING IN MY CELLAR FOR 17 YRS AND FINALLY HAD IT 8/29/13 WITH DOREE AND GRANT AND IT WAS LOVELY. ONLY SLI. AMBERIZED, GOOD NOSE AND EVEN FRUITY. I HAVE SOME 90'S AND WILL BE ANXIOUS TO TRY THEM.
these Beringer PR's always do the trick, this was very nice and though it had some dark fruit it also had enough age to be interesting/secondary, rich wine and not so much 'hi toned'... sort of a wine for a winter night but also with enough acid to make lively... very good again, great QPR
Absolutely adore this wine. Probably the best Berringer Private Reserve vintage, in my opinion. Very old world style, not overdone. Completely integrated now, but could probably go another 5 years, at least. Decant for an hour if you want the fruit to be fully open upon drinking. Unfortunately our last bottle!
16 years old, with at least 10 left to go. Starting to show its maturity with slightly transparent edges and the nose of a well-aged, powerful Cab. Utterly smooth and fully integrated now. Extended finish that begins with an "Oh!", and gradually fades to an "Oooooh". 1 left.....maybe for 2020?
From a vintage that is second only to 94 this bottle delivers a well rounded Bourdeau Style wine with new world tones. Slightly gritty with deep cherry tones and smooth tannins and a delicate finish keep these wines at the top of my favorite list out of my cellar.
Tasted still like a young wine - an extremely long cabernet of great richness and depth. In my mine this is one of the all-time best Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserves from Beringer. I enjoyed it without decanting and found a lot of fruit in the glass after 2 hours. Great evening with my dearest lover, great wine enjoyed with passion.
95. This wine, at 15 years old, drinks like a young wine with well resolved tannins. The color is dark purple with no brown edges and the body is medium. The fruit shines through with a smooth and silky mouthfeel. The wine was decanted for about 2 hours.
Still going well. It has aged gracefully. The fruit is still there. But the length on the palate is not what I think it should be . At first open, I questioned it, but noticed that air over two hours made it really great. Nice leather, tobacco and wood developed. Turned yummy. Still not as good as our other 1997 that night, but think our remaining bottle will still work well the next few years.
Decanted and let open for 1.5 hours. Deep crimson. At open, was closed. Continued to test nose and small sips while it breathed. Opened into a beautiful, big, classic Cali Cab. Easily able to handle more age. Leather, mint, licorice, sage and blackberries were the highlights. Once it opened, a finish that lingered for two minutes.
Bought at auction more than seven years ago from one previous owner, and brought to Australia nearly five years ago. Therefore I wasn't sure if this had cellared properly, but it obviously had. Allowed to settle for thirty minutes after a completely successful struggle extracting the fragmented cork. Impressive nose initially, which quickly closed until the last glass was poured about thirty minutes later. Would have considered decanting, but this wine really doesn't need any air time. Meaty nose of plum, cigar box, black currant and old leather up front. Changes to primarily plum and currant during the closed phase, while later returning hints of leather and some toasted almond and sage. Soft but firm tannins, suggested this particular bottle might have had several more years. Incredible palate of complicated smoky fruit flavors with a medium mouthfeel. Notes of coffee, raspberry, and blackberry while absent any red fruit. Medium to long finish with lingering tannins. Throws a fair amount of sediment at the end. Can't ask for much more from one of the better Napa vintages.
Hard to believe it was over 3.5 years ago that I opened one of these last...time flies! I commented then that the wine was quite "European" compared to many modern Napa cabs. That impression remained in place today. The wine opened quite tight, showing some grip and not at all a fruit-bomb entry. Very refined elements here - some graphite, a bit of cedar. The fruit is more cool red fruit. As the wine opens in the glass (and with some fattier beef) the wine loosens some and shows more fruit. This is definitely broad on the palate, and mouthcoating (but not in a viscous way). Relatively light on its feet for what it is - I think 1997 was a strong year for this wine! No hurry on these if they are well-stored, though if you want your Napa cabs primary, that ship has already sailed.
Medium dark ruby color with just a hint of bricking. Nose of vanilla, raspberry, cassis and a hint of something green like olive perhaps but not in a bad way. I didn't pick up he other secondary notes in the nose like leather, spice box and cedar some others have even after breathing for several hours. Tannins seem mostly resolved and the mouthfeel is quite lush. Flavors are rich and mostly fruit forward but not over the top. You do get some of the spice in the aftertaste which lasts a good 40 seconds.
very nice wine, a little black cherry on the nose along with some alcohol / spice, the palate is nice black cherry, bright and alive, a bit of overt oak which detracts slightly and still some tannins... i'm an optimist so will say hold another five years and hopefully the oak and minor heat will fade and the fruit come even more forward... if so this will turn into an outstanding wine... if instead the fruit fades it's going down... btw, i think of the 'oak invasion' happening in CA later (i.e. 2000'ish) but could it have come as early as 1997?
This must be at its peak as it was beautiful straight from the bottle. Moderate tannins with a very light berry nose and smooth though not velvety. I am sure it can cellar for quite a while still but it may start losing tannin which I would not want to lose. It is still full bodied and the finish lingers.
Showing it's age, this wine may have been a touch past peak, but the guy who brought it paid $20 a bottle, so who cares?! The nose immediately hit me as Ben & Jerry's Oatmeal Raisin ice cream (which was hard to shake to find more) though there are notes of cedar wood, dark fruit and herbs. Bottle may have been a touch oxidized as the cooked fruit notes were present but all in all it was drinking very well.
Wow, one of the best Cali Cabs we've ever had, this was stunning and still has lots of life ahead of it, outstanding - Dark, full bodied with a nose of blackfruit, plum, cedar, mocha and vanilla, amazing structure and seamless balance, tannins are melting away exposing sweet fruit, smooth as silk on the palate with a finish that lasts forever, classic (95 Points).
CT Texas IV (Austin, TX): Tasted non blind at a wine dinner. Cassis and tobacco on the nose. More of the same on the palate with some sweet cherries. Consistent, medium length finish. Medium tannins. This one is in its window. Drink now and over the next few years.
(Tasted Blind) Easily WOTN. From your fist sniff after the pop and pour you know you're in a whole different league here. It had great fruit density and an absolutely awesome exotic spicebox nose. The group was calling 2004 high-end left bank Bordeaux and I could totally see that, although it would have to be a modern producer and the wine would have to have been very open. For my palate I would like to see more prominent secondary notes to fall in love with this wine (or at least more delineated secondary notes). Any earth, mushrooms, or leather were still pretty integrated with the fruit. But there's no doubting this will please fans of both modern and traditionally styled wines and it is just gorgeous! Thanks for sharing this with the group AML!
More Weeknight Tasting in KW (Dave's House): Decanted quickly for sediment, served blind to the group (my wine), followed for less than an hour, as this was gone pretty quick. Beautiful complexity on the nose, showing cassis, red berries, earth, humidor, leather, mushroom, truffle, undergrowth, light bell pepper and celery seed from the pyrazine. On the palate, red fruits, earth, leather and pyrazine. Still some nice structure here with a bit of grip on the finish, and juicy acidity. Finish is nice and long. This is by far the best bottle I've had of this yet, and is in a perfect spot for my tastes, still showing that gorgeous fruit, but also some excellent tertiary notes. The group guessed Bordeaux on this, and I don't blame them. Great showing from this bottling.
Still drinking well. This was my last bottle but I may go try to find more. Velvety soft and simple delicious. PnP and it stood well on its own. Probably would be overpowered by most foods at this point in its mature life.
Une première pour moi avec ce vin dans ce millésime. Robe opaque aucunement évoluée. Le nez est plutôt fermé sur des notes de cassis, de cèdre, de boite à tabac. La bouche est très ronde avec des tannins crémeux et séveux. Beaucoup de fruits en bouche. La bouche fait plutôt Nouveau-Monde avec un nez sur la réserve. Très long. À revoir dans quelques années. 17.5
Cellared since release. This was tasted immediately and then after an hour and does need open time. Typical rich Beringer P.R. Nose of casis, tobacco, raspberry, and cedar notes. Lovely in the mouth and fully mature. Would have scored a little higher but for the finish. A little short and a little dry/tart on the finish. I need to work through more of these in the coming year.
Beautiful nose with subtle notes of toasty oak, cherry pie and some earth. In the mouth, mostly smooth with a touch of grip. Really delicious wine that is a touch past its peak, but still great glass of wine that has life ahead of it.
KW Tasting Group New Years Eve Dinner (Greg's House): Decanted for sediment and poured immediately. Nose of cassis, dark fruits, tobacco, green pepper, spice, with hints of mushroom and decomposing leaves. On the palate, more dark fruits, cassis, pyrazine. Strong acidic streak and some bitterness on the finish. The finish is a tad short, and the nose is slightly more impressive than the palate. Surprisingly not very evolved at the moment. Was hoping for more secondary components to be showing through at this time.
What a nose! Deep opaque ruby with a very expressive nose of ripe cherry, cedar, tobacco, spice, mint, etc. The palate didn’t do the nose justice tho.. Attack was good but a touch thin in the middle and a touch astringent in the finish. If the nose wasn’t so damn beautiful, I would be a little more forgiving.
Checked at opening and then ran thru a vinerator into the decanter for an hour. The change was impressive as it moved from sharp to smooth. A very complex nose with fruit and hits of chocolate. Earthy taste but remarkably light for a cab. Hints of strawberry with a smokey, smooth finish. Continued to develop and became drier and smoother with time.
Bought @ LCBO....this was stored very well, looks like it came direct from their cellars. Cork is pristine Decanted for sediment into a narrow decanter and poured no additional time in decanter Nose of pure dark fruit....cherry, raspberry, liquorice , asian spice, forest floor, cedar and leather, quite complex on the nose Palate is really well integrated.....pyrazene, cherry, black raspberry, nutmeg, saddle leather, bitter chocolate, coffee and sweet pipe tobacco. Finish is long with flavours of dark plum, cherry, espresso, bitter chocolate, earth and cedar. Quite nice....almost 95
Super good. Needed time to breath a bit, as it was a little tight on opening. Ended up having a decent nose, fantastic palate and long finish. Lots of black licorice, dark fruits, earth and a bit of vanilla. Grips the inside of the mouth quite strongly, indicating that it is still a very young wine. Reeeeeally expensive ($120 CAD), but excellent. Hard to say that any wine is worth that much, but this didn't disappoint.
Popped and poured over several hours. Nose is very light to non-existent. The wine is mature and very rich. The finish was also short to nothing. Not exactly in my wheelhouse type of wine, but the richness is quite alluring. I can see why so many people like this producer. Richness 94/95, Overall 90/91.
Consumed at the Sonoma Grill, Pittsburgh, PA with Carol. Additional evidence that there is a difference between "tasting" and "drinking". Had this at the PAWT group tasting event in Meadville, PA and it was good but didn't stand out. However, sitting down and consuming a bottle with my best friend over an hour and half - now its impressive. Deep, rich and flavorful with a lot of the fruit taking a back seat to more earthy components. Anise on the nose and at the big finish. Meaty, mushrooms, and herbs. Carol found sweet vanilla and licorice. Overall an outstanding wine. The experience is worth a couple of points, but why separate?
Wow.. a dense,dark plum color with a brick red tinted edge.This smells so complex with sweet cassis,smokey,and a blend of cedar & liquorice spices.The flavour is so rich and concentrated with a dense silky mouth feel of smoked blackcurrants interlaced with smooth tannins and mellow acidity the end taste is definately mocha driven.All the wine components marry together beautifully extolling the virtues of balance and class.This wine is magnificent now and will last for at least a further 10 years.What a great wine I adore it! Napa cabernet at its very best.
1 hour decant. Very expressive sweet blackberry and licorice nose. Blackberry,cassis and vanilla upfront with a long tobacco black fruit finish with a hint of green pepper. Silky tannins, very enjoyable would rate it higher, but thought it could use just a little more acidity, I wouldn't call it flabby but it lacked a little lift.
Very nice aged Cabernet - it was not typical Cal style but was typical Beringer Reserve Style -- Tannins were well structured and still very present, dried cherries and some fresh strawberries (but lite), along with a minerally finish -- very nice for a piece of red meat.
Bought this one as part of a case at auction ~5 years ago. Nose has a soft ruby fragrant but distinctly Napa. On the pour it threw off a lot of sediment so thankfully I filtered into a decanter and let it sit for 30 minutes before pouring a glass. Color is a red tone with a hint of purple/brown -- looks like a "heavy" Bordeaux. Rich, dark fruits, soft tannins with a hint of tar on the first drink. Probably (hopefully?) could use a little more time. Will see how it evolves... 45 minutes later: Wine definitely softened in the glass with a little bit of time. Nicely paired with some food. Still showing a lot of good plum and blackcurrant flavors but not exactly vibrant. Questionable how much time these babies have left. For a problem child of the over-hyped 97 vintage, this one is still showing well.
very nice bottle. Carry it's age well, I would say this wine turned out to be really nice, excellent body and a long finish. Raspberry and leather dominant notes. Well very well with the filet Mignon at Mortons.
Opened (not decanted) at BYOB for 1 hour before drinking over next 1.5 hours. Still dark purple plum in color. Nice nose of cherry, earth and a hint of licorice. Beautiful multi- dimensional blended palate of cherry, black currant, charcoal, coffee and tar. Velvet on the palate with long finish and a nice light bite at the end. Have had this wine at least 5 times from my cellar and this was the best yet. Perfect with duck leg confit and roasted duck breast.
Opened and poured in to glasses waited 30 min. bottle had some inside crust that stuck to inside sediment less than 1 teaspoon. In the glass the edge has clear band, vanilla nose, after an hour the nose is cherries and wood, cellar floor raspberry, plumb earthy. 13.8% alcohol is integrated tannins velvety worked well with the roasted red meats. After another 30 minutes the alcohol became more pronounced the finish penetrating
4 hours in. Perfect. Drinking at it's peak with some time to go. Beautiful mature Cali Cab color. Very French in it's presence. The nose is mineral, dried fruit, red river, very subtle oak, earth. Light palate, dried fruit, strawberries, tannins are there, tightening their grip, ripping away at the lamb fat, butter, etc. Some blue fruit lingers in there, shaved coco. The acid, fruit alch, tannins all in perfect harmony. Very Herby. Love this wine, can really really feel the different terriors coming through, layer upon layer of local expressive fruit. Yummy. Jut lingering finish, sails on. Massive wall of rich, complex fruit in these last sips, unbelievable.. Up 2 points. Entry , mid palate, through the finish is excellent.
There's something to be said for purchasing a wine with guaranteed provenance from a cold cellar. I picked up a few of these from a store yesterday that had purchased them on release, tucked them into a bin, and forgot about them. I'd seen the bottles in the shop before, but had refrained from buying until I saw a very positive TN on this wine recently.
So, picked up a few yesterday and opened one last night. I have to admit, I was hoping this would be good and it was. Awesome nose of tar, cassis, and mint. As the wine started to evolve, it began to take on more Bdx-like characteristics and the tar/earth components really began to emerge. Really nice 30+ second finish.
I overpaid slightly for the wine, but knowing the storage conditions of the bottle made it worth the minor premium. I really hope the remaining bottles are this good. Fully mature - drink now or hold.
To quote Bill Murray in STRIPES ".....And now, depression sets in..." Well, bottle 1 was gone. No nose, would have made a for a nice salad dressing however. Enter bottle number 2....Still no nose, but not vinegar...drinkable, but lacking in fruit. the bottle I had a month ago was fine. Hopefully the rest of the case is like my prior notes. Need to try another bottle soon....but after the holidays. No sense being depressed before Christmas
Showing age as primary fruit flavors less prominent than wood, leather, and tobacco. Drank over two days, and improved after time to open up. Last bottle of this vintage, and still showing nicely, but wouldn't sit on this one much longer.
Took this bottle to dinner last weekend....only15-20 minutes of decanted time before the waiter poured in to the glass...could have used more decanting time....an initial explosion of berries on the nose, which settled to beatiful scents of anise, black berry, and cedar. the wine lasted forever on the pallete, with lingering, focused flavor of blackberry and cherry.....it got better and better all night...a beautiul wine at it's height. 96 Pts
Aged cabernet, with nice balance and structure. Evolved after opening, after being a little reserved initially. Tannins smooth, well integrated. Dark cherry, plum, hints of oak, eucalyptus, mocha, leather. Very nice.
I took this one to Izzy's Steakhouse in SF. It has held up well, but it was not as good as I expected. We opened it about 30 minutes before drinking it (no decanter). It had a nice nose of earth and light fruit, not very strong tannins, and a smooth taste of plum and earth. I enjoyed it, but I think it may have been past its prime.
Initially a bit reticent, opening in the glass to reveal aromaas of mint, dark fruit, black currants; has a subtle smoky note too. Nice balance; terrific dark fruit tones on the palate with a nice finish. Guessed Napa Cab. 90+ pts.
Still a lot of life left in this one - one of the first bottles I purchased for my cellar. Definitely old world cabernet with restrained fruit and soft tannins upon opening. After an hour in the glass, it's really hitting on all cylinders...deliciously sweet red and black fruits, no noticeable oak (which is expected after 13 years of aging), and a long, smooth finish. Delicious!
Popped, decanted and aired for about an hour. Medium, clear red with little sediment. Aromas or aged California cabernet - a little must, a little damp, a little barnyard. Flavors of silky smooth currant with mixed red and black fruit. There is still a slight tannc kick to let you know this still has some life to it. This was a really nice bottle.
Shared with Robert, Susan, Lisa, et al, at restaurant in Houston. Lousy restaurant glasses. Beautiful deep cherry color to the rim. no fadingGreat nose and palate of dark red fruits, with no sign of age. Tannin totally resolved. Great balance and structure. Perfect right now with plenty of time, probably 10 years left on well stored bottles.
Decanted for 3hrs+ in closed decanter. Still required 45 minutes to reveal itself at dinner, at which point it showed classic Pauillac notes. Much better than our experience last year, and the year before. Seems to be coming into its own. Next time I will leave it an open decanter for several hours. It will probably outlast this 69 year old imbiber!
Very nice, delicate but not as balanced or smooth as hoped. Went well with food but was expecting better. Still tasted young. Structure dominated despite a 3 hour decant. There was a nice finish to the wine. I'll see what day 2 holds.
Blind tasting, WOTN: This was drinking really well. I guessed it as a California Blend with good age on it. Dark black fruits with an AMAZING spicy finish that went on for days. This wine seems to be underrated on the sight. It bested Dominus, SilverOak and several other high end producers. Not showing any signs of giving up, drink over the next 5+ years...AMM
1997 Ornellaia - Beautiful, sublime, sexy wine. Drinking incredibly well. Impeccable balance. 1997 Pavie-Macquin - despite what one might think of the 1997 vintage in Bordeaux, this wine was brilliant. 1997 Beringer Private Reserve - A perennial favourite. 1997 Lafite Rothschild - A barnyardy nose, which blew off with time. Great pedigree and structure. Lay down for 5 years.
1991 Guigal Cote Rotie La Turque - my personal favourite of the tasting. A brilliant, complete wine - my favourite wine ever! 1998 Guigal Cote Rotie Brune et Blonde - a beautifully made, delicious wine 1998 Jaboulet Hermitage La Chapelle - Probably the only really good La chapelle made since the 1990 in my view 1996 Chateau de Fonsalette Reserve Cuvee Syrah - my second favourite of the flight. Deep, dark, sweet, thick, amazing
All wines showed beautifully, and were drinking well.
5th time I have had this wine over the last 3 years. Better than some-not as good as others. Starting to show some maturity. Fading purple in color. Decent, but non expansive, nose of plum and cassis. Palate lacking the massive fruit of prior 2 bottles. Integrated palate of earth, charcoal, leather and minerality. Smooth, balanced and ready to go. Very bordeaux like. Hope the fruit is evident in my remaining bottles.
OMFG. Had only 1 bottle so I wasn't sure what to expect. Beautiful mature cal cab. Floral woody somewhat spicy nose; clean and typical of nice mature cab. Like a basket of really nice berries, mellow scandalwood and vanilla. Really the kind of nose I was looking for today. Follows on the palate with mellow evolved fruit. Great balance to me. Good acid keeps the wine in check, fruit has evolved, thinned and gone secondary but in great harmony with the rest of the wine. Mellow tannins around the mouth with balanced acidity. Good evolved fruit - imagine young Cal fruit more mellow and with some chalk. This wine has to be peaking right now for my taste. Would deserve a higher score if there was more complexity on the palate. I wish I had another
One of my favorites started out fine with nice fruit up front but went into fast fade. Have a few left and will need to drink up. Would be drinking them if you have them depending on the kind of care you have given them.
A stunning Cabernet, brimming with ripe, rich, vibrant black fruit, leather. herbs, smoke, its flavors are deep and enormously concentrated, coating the palate, holding a tight focus and finishing with remarkable complexity and finesse, but slightly short. - JD95
Great openning nose of blackberries and dark fruit. Colour still dark ruby, a touch lighter at the rim, not showing much age at alll. Good tannins, but a bit too alcoholic at first. Needed decanting. After 40 minutes of decanting, scent of vanilin and oak comming through even some minerality. Tannins are now nice and soft and velvety. Some mint flavours emerges after an hour of breathing with even some earthy notes....becoming a bit Bordeaux-ish! Still lots of life left, but in a great place right now. Who said California Cabs can't age...?...
Still some live left in this cab. Need to decant for an hour or so for it to open up. Had the typical cedar, eucalyptus, and red cassis on the nose. Still has a bit of tannin on top of the deep red fruit and some left over oak. Acidity has begun to fade but the wine still has some nice minerality. I'm guessing this wine will drink well for at least another five years or so. Enjoy!!!
Vertical tasting of '97, '01, '04 Beringer Private Reserve Cab. Almost the entire group liked the '01 the best but some thought the '97 was the most complex. Dry, slightly sour, slightly bitter, Definitely starting to show it's age, the core is still a nice ruby while rim is just starting to turn brown. Nose is of leather and definitely some mint which is a characteristic of the chabot vineyard. In the mouth wine is still silky smooth and velvety. The tannins are low and the wine is mild with a medium plus finish. Someone made an interesting comment that the '97 reminded them more of a Bordeaux then Napa cab in comparision to the '01 and '04. This wine still has years left. It was a lot of fun to compare the '97 to the '01 and I'll be curious what the '01 tastes like in a few years.
Dark fruit-forward and a very smooth finish as you might expect for this CaliCab. That's my problem with this wine. It is as I expected it to be and nothing more, nothing memorable. This bottle has been properly cellared and I give it no more than another year or two. Drink it now.
Same as many prior bottles. I decanted prior bottles and felt they started to fade after about 2 hours. This one I popped and poured. - and it remained fresh and vibrant until it was gone (about 2 hours). Nose of red & black berry with lots of eucalyptus and perhaps a hint of mint. Flavors match the nose but also with some cedar. Full flavored but not really full bodied. Soft tannins and just enough acidity to taste fresh. As usual, very smooth and elegant - more like a bordeaux than a Cali - cab. I believe this wine has peaked and I plan to drink my remaining bottles over the next couple of years.
Decanted and let sit for about 1 hour. Consistent with prior bottles. Medium nose of dark and red berries, and with a good dose of eucalyptus. Medium body but with rich flavors of dark and red berry, cedar/eucalyptus and licorice. Excellent balance. As usual, not overpowering, but rather slightly elegant with soft tannins and just a hint of acidity. Softened and lost some structure after about 2 hours.
Aged very nicely and is ready to drink. I don't think it will improve and it was very smooth after about 2 hours decanted and in the glass. The tannins smoothed out very nicely and the finish was quite long. A good value for the money, but not outstanding. Definitely decant this for a bit before enjoying. I would say at a min. one hour if not more.
Tasted at winery – medium ruby with a hue of brick, clear. Earthy nose of barnyard, floral, high-toned vegetal notes with leather, meat and red cherry aromas as well. Flavours of red cherries, red currant, leather and earth. Medium body, medium acidity, medium tannins with a medium length finish. This is ready to go. Excellent.
This was only ok. Nothing special, I think 1997 is way overrated for cali cabs. The nose has some intriguing cigar box and tobacco notes, but other than that, is unexciting and four square. Fruit is drying on the finish.
Excellent wine at a very acceptable price point. My girlfriend and I really enjoyed this bottle. She commented that it was more "European" than many of the Cali-Cabs we have tasted in the past. I agree that this wine had a measure of balance and reserve to compliment a wealth of fruit flavours. Not over the top at all. And aging with grace!
On the nose I properly would have mistanken this one for a super tuscan in a blind tasting. Lots of cassis, leather, cedar, some earthiness and "veggy"/greenish components. Full bodied. Lovely ripe fruit on the attack and smooth mouthfell. some spice, pepper and good tannins on the finish. A pleasant drink but rather boring and in my opion lacking complexity (especially on the palate), balance and personality for a wine at this price point. Come on California - drop the "makeup" and let the terroir speak!
A classic Napa cab full of cassis, lots of cedar, loamy earth and a pleasing leafiness. Silky, restrained and delicately defined on the finish. A bridge between Napa and Bordeaux. Just lacks a little complexity and exuberance.
Aromas of cherry with a hint of mushroom, minimal oak influence, a pure style of cabernet-----------but unmistakeably Napa. Medium ruby color, lively acidity, well integrated, appears to have lots of life left. Elegant, refined, and restrained. A wine of finesse not power. Rather one dimensional, light on complexity, expect more depth at this price. A very enjoyable and memorable wine nonetheless.
Pulled from Vinotemp and popped and poured into Riedel Vinum Bordeaux glasses. Delicate yet deep nose of chocolate, mocha, cedar and a hint of sweet woody vanilla. Deep, delicate fruit with very good complexity - mocha, pencil, cassis. Great balance and complexity. Delicious. Long complex finish with the fruit following through and a hint of sweet wood at the very end. Beguiling. Very fine balanced tannins. A beautiful wine with elegance and finesse. Seemed pretty well resolved but I don't have enough experience with this wine to say it couldn't age some more. Made by Ed Sbragia.
Popped and poured. Dark ruby with a hint of brick on the edge. Muted nose of dark fruit and currant. Dark berry flavors at first, and then supplemented by licorice, cedar and chocolate after about 30 min. Medium bodied with soft, integrated tannins which created a slightly silky mouthfeel and left an impression of elegance. I have had many vintages of this wine starting with the '85 vintage, and they all have had very similar flavors and mouthfeel. To me, the Beringer PR always has the fruit of a Cali cab and the elegance of a bordeaux - and this was no exception. The wine continued to improve in the glass and bottle over about 30 min to an hour - the aromas and flavors became more developed and complex, and it became a bit more structure than when first opened. At about 1.5 hours it began to lose some of its structure, but maintained its complexity. Altogether, a very interesting and highly enjoyable wine.
Very smooth and maturing, the color is still very crimson, just short of fresh red, maybe a hint of fading, but just the smallest of hints. Still looks quite new and freshly bottled. The wine is starting to show its nice maturing stages, the nose hints of earth and alcohol and red fruits, but it does not clobber you, more caressing than obtuse. On the palate, a nice mix of plummy, jammy fruits, some earth, reminiscent of Rutherford dirt, a slightly steely edge (graphite pencil lead) and a tannin load that really does not dry at all. If there is a fault, it is that those tannins suggest a short life, that the guts are starting to disappear from the wine, without the overt fruit to make it last. Drinking window, 2-4 years.
95+ point nose, 95+ point attack, but the mid-palate and finish left me wanting so much more. This may appeal more to those who prefer less fruit-forward, more Old World-styled wines (not that it would be mistaken for anything French). It was quite tasty (indicated by the empty bottle at end of dinner) nonetheless, with plenty of blackberry, tart currant, a bit of graphite and some licorice.
TK's bottle -this one must be in a strange point of evolution. Upon opening it showed very nice fruit aromatics mostly red berry and the color was still deep & not as advanced as expected at this age. The mid palate was nice but not complex and the finish while pronounced had a slight rough edge I suspect from wood tannins. The wine improved over the first 15-30 min in the decanter i. It was quite enjoyable but not monumental or as good as other PR's -maybe a low 90's score. Tthan started to move in the opposite direction where the tannins became more pronounced and I wondered if this wine may be on the decline as there may not be enough fruit extract for additional secondary development. The big surprise came after several hrs. The few oz left in the decanter came to life and the wine seemed more seamless balanced and smooth. I would have loved another sip but it was all gone. The last sip was finest offering great promise. I would recommend a long slow ox for future bottles. 92++
Enjoyed with ribeye steaks, 9/2008. Ruby with a slight lightening at the rim, moderate nose led into a medium-bodied pleasant cabernet of no particular distinction. I expected more intensity of flavor, and greater length. Moderate tannins suggest further time in the bottle is not out of the question, but why bother? Good, not great.
Tried this immediately after opening and it was flat...well so it seemed. very off balance despite the young looking color (for an 11 yr old wine). I decanted it and it began to open up over half an hour or so. In about two hours this wine was beautiful. The fruit in this wine resembled a 3 yr old bottle, full of tannins and packed with complex flavors (blackberry, black cherry and a mild tobacco flavor come to mind). This is one of the best vintages of the Beringer PR Cab I have had in a long while. This wine was so youthful it could easily sit for many more years, yet it offers great balance and complexity now.
Popped and poured. Quite evolved color, brown-red rim. The nose is initially quite impressive and complex with loads of currants, vanilla, after ½ hour in the glass the aromas start to diminish. Medium-full bodied very nicely balanced, still some ripe tannins left and good sweet fruit. Seems though a little bit overexstracted, and hot. This wine is a typical cali cab, but to my palate it lacks minerality, and has too much sweetness. Drink now if you want to pair it with food, otherwise will hold for 5-8 years, but never become a true great wine
Dark red without any obvious browning rims.The nose opened up to a dark toned nice berriness.Palate was rich and smooth with aromas of blueberries,plums,a hint of currant and cedar.Surprisingly little tertiary aromas.Perhaps a small hint of coffee.Overall very smooth,elegant and fruity,drinking still well.
Solid nose, with rich, berry accents. Excellent, deep ruby color. The mouthfeel was pretty weak though. I expected a bit more full-bodied taste to this one. Instead, what I found was a perfectly quaffable Cab with very little finish. It left me wanting. I wonder if I held it too long. I'm left with: Meh.
This is the 3rd bottle opened this year. Still not impressed. Seems to be losing its fruit. Nice tannins and balance but not showing the promise it had when young. Still have 6 more bottles so hopefully it will get past it's dumb period.
Outstanding. full, fragrant nose of black fruit and herbs. Cassis, blackberry, and chocolate on the palate. Complexity and a solid backbone with this wine. Nice, extended finish. Enjoyed at Dio Deka in LG.
No formal notes - consumed at Anniversary dinner. Opened at table for an hour before drinking but not decanted. Big deep nose of cedar and French oak. Clean cedary well resolved fruit with very good depth and a long complex finish. Smooth tannins and good balance with some acid still present. Very classy wine. Delicious. Drinking good now with maybe a little more time left.
Had this bottle for about six years and I suppose I was lucky. A lot going on. Great nose with cherries, dark fruit and a bit of licorice. The tannins were there but oh so very well integrated. This bottle was drinking at it's peak.
With Prime Rib. Decanted and drank over 2.5 hours. Much better in the last hour. This wine needed time to integrate and smoothe out. Great structure, cherries and sage with medium tannins. Probably a little past optimal, but a beautiful wine.
had at picasso's(bellagio). decanted for about 1 hr and dranky for the next 2. started to round out and smoothen out but it might hae needed for time. great dark ruby color and fullbody. nice finish but still needed time to smooth out.
Don't know if my taste was off by the time we got to this, but it seemed a though it's starting to lose it's fruit. Nice california cab with good tannins and balance. Just seems to me as though it's starting to drop off it's game in the past year. I'll have to ask others at the table to confirm.
French Bakery BYO 1990's Cali Cab Sauv dominant wines; 12/19/2007-12/20/2007: Charlie's wine. Surprisingly was outclassed and outvoted by the little known 96 Rafanelli, and 97 White Rock Claret.It did receive 2 votes out of 13. Charlie was bemoaning the fact that his heralded wines often get outclassed in our blind tasting. I can commisserate, as I own this as well, and have yet to be impressed by it. I have been holding them, hoping for enhanced aging. I question if it ever will realize its early promise.
Nice dark color, dusty dark fruit nose. Still pretty tannic on the palate but enjoyable and deep. The fruit didn't hold up to the tannins on day 2 (ungassed, uncorked overnight, other '97's held up better).
Dark red color. No browning at all. Nose a little green. Lots of berry. Seemed tight and focused. Pallet deep fruit with moderately long finish. Not as good as I had hoped. I'm thinking this needed more time, maybe 3-5 years more. Don't try the 2002 until 2015.
This wine, which I have had several times, keeps getting better and better. Had it side by side with a Heitz Martha 1990 which started out better, but faded, while this wine grew and grew in intensity. Dark garnet with no signs of maturity. Plum, black currant, and chocolate on the nose. Gobs of fruit on the palate which started slow, but became sweet and intense an hour after opening. Long finish, no flaws, balanced and smooth. One fine bottle. I suggest decanting an hour before drinking.
Full red-ruby. Superripe aromas of plum, strawberry, tobacco and loam. Fat, thick, sweet and deep, with the wine huge weight gracefully supported by firm underlying backbone. A superripe, extremely long cabernet of great richness and depth. From 2007 tasting: * Another big vintage * Berry, cassis, sweet herb character (bay leaf) * Cocoa, anise and toasted marshmallow * Flashier on release, firm tannins, slightly tight now, but a lot of flavor intensity
Drank after an '04 Pintia, so this showed a bit flat in comparison. However, on it's own merits, this is a really enjoyable wine. Fell short of the '95 Spottswoode we had the night before, as this just didn't have the stuffing that I like to find in older wines, but this is an elegant, well-structured, nicely balanced Cabernet. Cassis, strawberry (if somewhat muted) and medium tannins all work together to provide a classic, California Cabernet.
Very nice. The people who say it's dead must have bad bottles, or must be expecting a young fruit-forward Cali cab. This baby has tons of flavor and finesse. It will be in good shape for a few more years, at least. The finish isn't that impressive, perhaps 10 seconds long, but it's a nice, complex, and compelling.
Superb! This is a very fruit driven wine. The bottle I had was in great shape, and I believe in its peak years of maturity. A beautifully complex nose of sweet cherries and licorice, accompanied by notes of coffee, tobacco, mint, dark chocolate, and with time a tad bit of leather. Voluiptuous, lush, and sappy on the palatte, gaining weight with aeration. Still holding a good tannic structure keeping the fruit and alcohol together, and displaying delicious flavors of dark cherries and chocolate. Essentially tastes like a liquified peppermint patty!
As some reviewers have noted, I can see where some bottles (due to bottle variation, etc.) may be passing into decline. I would recommend NOT holding this any longer. If you have them, drink them. I would be surprised if it will get any better. My fear being that the fruit may fade before the rest of the tannins melt away.
This was an excellent example of CA Cab. Smooth and Delicious with the tannins chiming in with just the right emphasis. The wine is currently in it's prime and while I can't guess how long it will stay this good, it was better than the first bottle I had a year ago. While I'm a big AU Shiraz fan, this was a very pleasant change of pace.
A great bottle with several different beef and lamb dinners at Forbes Mill in Los Gatos. Decanted for about 30 minutes and it was smooth without a tanic finish. This bottle seemed to be at its peak. Wonderful earthy nose and taste.
Much better than last bottle. Nice nose of plum and leather. Dark ruby in color. Long, smooth and balanced on the palate. No tannin and ready to drink with plum, chocolate and black cherry nuances. A delight.
Color is dark garnet to the rim. On the nose cassis, eucalyptus, spice, and a hint of leather. Palate reveals chewy dark fruit (cassis and berries), mint, white pepper, and a good touch of acidity. Tannins are well-heeled, and this is a quite enjoyable bottle.
Tasted November 4, 2006 at home. Opened and served immediately in a Spiegelau Authentis Magnum glass. This wine is showing much better than it did back in July. Garnet color in the glass, clear hue throughout. The nose somewhat reminded me of a Bordeaux so this might be a nice ringer in a blind tasting. Aromas of plums, cherries, and some cedar notes. Flavors of black cherries, red cherries, mixed berries and dark plums. Medium acidity, medium tannins and medium to full body. Can be drank now with a minimal decant or held another 10 years.
Dark purple/inky color. A sweet nose of blackcurrant and black berries. Full-bodied and opulent. Very jammy, but with a good structure and a nice high level of acidity. Starting to drink very well and definitely better than the last one I had 2 years ago. Definitely a crowd pleaser! Rating: 93+
Pretty dark plum color and a nice nose of blackcurrents. Found the initial flavor somewhat hard , then opened up to some fruit, but faded quickly at the end to hard and slightly tannic. Had this wine at least 5 times before and found this bottle to be lacking the fruit that I recall in prior bottles. Somewhat disappointing when a wine of this stature does not meet your expectations, even though a decent bottle.
Drank this side by side with a 2000 Alexander Valley Vineyards Cyrus meritage. Both were decanted. The Cyrus was initially more user friendly. This wine was deep in color with a bit of bricking starting to form around the edges. However, it appears to have plenty of life left. It was dense inflavor with classic Napa Valley characteristics such as earth or mushroom, currant, licorice/cocoa and deep berry. As it aged it become very smooth but possibly a bit less complex.
Tasted July 14, 2006 at an offline. Opened and served immediately in a Riedel Vinum Cabernet glass. Garnet color in the glass, slightly dusty looking throughout. Nose of plums, cherries, red currants and some soft spice notes. Flavors of red currants, cherries, red licorice and later a little cocoa. Medium acidity with medium to firm tannins. Medium bodied. Still a little closed in my opinion so I’d recommend holding 2-3 more years before opening again. No value recommendation.
Dinner at home of beef pot roast with porcini mushrooms. Plum/black cherry fruit, licorice, and cigar box on the midpalate. Light to medium body, with toasty oak and vanilla on the finish. Pleasant, but a bit straightforward and one-dimensional. A disappointment at this price.
From Magnum bought at the winery. Excellent wine but falls short of outstanding due to lack of complexity. In balance - good fruit and backbone with nice finish. A smooth wine that went well with dinner but just a little too simple for my palate to warrant the price.
Simply delicious. It only goes to prove that I'm a sucker for Sbragia's wines. It opens with a beautiful nose of smoke, cigar box, and restrained but tantalizing blackberry and currant. The nose later unwinds to show the slightest rose scent. With some air, the wine progresses from obvious mocha and up-front black fruit to ripe red fruit, including sweet raspberry. The palate is well-balanced, but still firm enough on the tannins, which help counteract the couch-potato oakiness. And the long, long finish confirms how well-crafted a wine this is. It's confident but never overbearing, and it's a classic in my book.
With the Holdens and Fourniers 92 points: Pleasant nose of ripe fruit, lavendar and leather. Beautiful dark color. Still some tannin that could use some softening but a joy right now. Good, long balanced finish
Just a beautiful, mature cal cab at the height of it's life cycle. Glorious nose and full, rich, lush flavors that matched marvelously to the steak that was served with the wine. Not a powerhouse, but beautifully balanced and frankly delicious. Just what you want when you open an 8-10 year old cab with dinner. Served along side the 96 Leoville Las Cases which wasn't showing nearly as well. On the second day, the Beringer tasted virtually the same as the first, suggesting that this wine still has some longevity ahead of it.
Surprisingly elegant. A wonderfully complex nose of minerals, red fruits, anise and flowers. Medium bodied with plummy fruit, tobacco and licorice. The finish is clean and long. This wine was very tannic 12 months ago but this bottle was close to entering its prime drinking window. Will improve with 5+ years.
Very typical BPR. I've purchased and enjoyed the 91 (x2), 92 (x3), 93 (x2), 94 (x1), 95 (x2), and now the 97 (x1). I target drinking these wines between ages 8 and 12. I decanted the wine while grilling some marinated tri-tip. There's a light sediment and the color is deep ruby red with no brick at the edges. Fruit forward cal-cab with pleasant but significant vanilla oak and a core of black cherry and blackberry. Right up there with my favorite wines of the last month: 96 Pichon Lalande, 02 Archery Summit Arcus Estate, and 00 Bernard Chave Hermitage.
This $100+ wine was poured at a tasting last weekend. Parker gave it a score of 94 but I just don't see it. Scubarex who also tasted it agreed if I recall. Very nice nose of vanilla and toasted oak. However, it appeared to be rather astringent on the palate. This simply overwhelmed the fruit in my opinion. The finish also seemed to fade a bit. Perhaps it is just closed. We shall see. However, I would not want to take the chance. 86-87 points.