Thursday, March 15, 2012
I tasted these wines last week.
92 points Robert Parker: "The Batard-Montrachet-like 2006 Chardonnay Gamble Ranch reveals poached pear, creme brulee, brioche, honeysuckle, hazelnut, smoke, and tropical fruit characteristics in its big, full-bodied, well-balanced personality.
Ed Sbragia, the highly renowned winemaker at Beringer, has settled into his own operation, producing just over 5,000 cases of reds and whites that focus on Sbragia’s strengths, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay. He is also experimenting with small quantities of Zinfandel and Sauvignon Blanc." (12/08) 91 points Wine Spectator: "Big, rich and creamy, with toasty oak, fig, melon and a hint of butterscotch, ending with flavors that fan out in a complex manner. Drink now through 2011." (Online Tasting Highlight 10/08) 90-92 points Stephen Tanzer's International Wine Cellar: "Pale, bright yellow. Lime, lemon and nutty, creamy lees on the nose, along with some smoky high tones. Rich, fat and spicy, with a plumpness of texture that no doubt owes largely to 18 months' aging, with stirring, on the lees. This creamy-thick wine shows its 15.5% alcohol, but has just enough acidity to maintain its shape." (May/June '08) 92 points Wine Enthusiast: "This is a massive, powerful Chardonnay, a New World style that's superripe and heavily oaked. You either like it or you don't. Aficionados of this approach will love the opulence of the honey, pineapple jam, apricot, creme brulee, vanilla and buttercream flavors. Calls for very rich dishes..."
Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve
Robert Parker June 30, 2011 93 points
"Abundant smoke, chocolate, espresso roast, cassis and mocha characteristics are found in this full-bodied, powerful, layered Cabernet...big, dense beauty from a somewhat forgotten Napa Valley vintage. Give it 3-4 years of cellaring and drink it over the following two decades or more."
Beringer Winemaker Laurie Hook chooses from seven reserve vineyards to craft this wine that showcases the best of each vineyard’s terroir. Beringer’s remarkable collection of vineyards is the culmination of a 20 year partnership between Winemaster Emeritus Ed Sbragia and Bob Steinhauer, longtime Beringer vineyard manager. Ed and Bob worked tirelessly to identify vineyards that would produce the rich, intensely colored and flavored Cabernet Sauvignon grapes required for the Private Reserve.
Just as critical as the relationship between viticulture and winemaking, is the collaboration between Winemaker Laurie Hook and Ed Sbragia that has shaped the Reserve portfolio. Laurie and Ed have been working together since the 1980’s, and the 2006 honors the consistent vision of this talented team. Bancroft Ranch is a major component of the final blend, since replanting the vineyard in the mid to late 90’s. The density of flavor and structure lent by this Howell Mountain vineyard has been an integral part of Beringer’s Reserve program since 1986. Beringer’s famed St. Helena Home vineyard delivers the fleshy, black fruit mid-palate