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Beringer Vineyards

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Rating: DD
Feb 18th, 2006
2000 Main Street,St. Helena, CA 94574

Phone: (707) 963-7115

Hours: Open daily, 10 - 5pm

Club/Discounts: 4 clubs

Tasting Fees: $8 - $20 per flight of reserve wines

7/13/08 - Again outstanding service from Carlos and reinforced our DD rating for his private tasting. This time we sampled two Chardonnays, one private reserve Cab (2004) and four Howell Mountain Merlots going back to 1993. All tasted blind. His attention to detail, fun attitude and enjoyment of wine is second to none. Highly, highly recommended. Our first DD winery rating has to go to the Beringer Private Tasting. This was outstanding service especially when you consider that there were 15 of us turning up in a bus. We were greeted at the steps of the winery by our host, Carlos. We were then given a glass of Chardonnay and taken over to the old winemaker's house where we were brought downstairs to a private room. Carlos had prepared four glasses of wine (three reds) for each of us around a long table which we had to rate through a blind tasting. Not only were the wines excellent, but Carlos was extremely fun and knowledgeable, the location was incredible and we had a great time. Definitely the best wine tasting in Napa or Sonoma. Note that the tasting room gets a lower rating. The DD rating goes to the Private Tasting with Carlos. If you get a chance, do not miss this!! 10/28/2006: We were invited to a private tasting at Beringer by a member, so we decided to go along. We arrived about 20 minutes late which is usually not good to do for a private tasting, but we received a warm welcome. Our host, Carlos could not have been better. We have tasted wines in the tasting room previously and found the service fairly average to good, but if you get a chance to do a private tasting in one of the upstairs rooms, it is highly recommended. The tasting consisted of two Chardonnays, a Merlot and three Cabs from their private reserve series. We particularly liked the format of the Cab tasting, which was blind so we did not know what we were tasting. We were not rushed at all, could retaste wines over and over again and Carlos was very educational and fun. This was amongst the best private tasting we have experienced in Napa. (D) 2/18/2006: Beringer is the primary brand of a very large winery company (20 separate wineries in the company inc. Chateau St Jean and Souverain).

On this occasion we visited the Reserve tasting room in the Rhine House with wonderful interiors of oak floors and stained glass windows. We got 4 free Cabernet tastings ($80 value) courtesy of a member being part of our group. The staff were attentive in a very busy tasting room and we chatted about the Scottish heritage of our server CJ.

Overall the wines were not as good as hoped for the price, and did not seem like they would develop - but they were all current vintage. No past vintages were available for tasting, but you could buy them at $100 each in the sales room.

It seemed that the staff were pushing the membership very hard to other guests - "Did I give you the membership form ?". If we did not already have the membership, they would have been asking the same of us. (B-C)


Sort by : Vintage / Name / Rating
2001 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($115)Rating: D
Oct 28th, 2006
Wow. Huge wine. The finish goes on and on. Tasted blind alongside the 2002 Reserve and the Steinhauer (Howell Mountain) single vineyard. A fantastic wine that will last years.
2004 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($115)Rating: D
Feb 17th, 2008
      Best Wine - February, 2008

Fills your whole mouth. Stunning fruit, lingers and amazing finish. Great structure, excellent wine and easily wine of the day.
2005 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($115)Rating: D
Oct 11th, 2008
A great aroma, strong fruit on the palate with good body, balance and nice structure on the finish. Should age well in a few years. "breathtaking" (C-D Oct 11th 2008) April 2014 - Really beautiful wine, upgraded to a D. Excellent
2007 Private Reserve ($115)Rating: D
Jul 30th, 2011
Wow. Beautiful wine. According to Robert Parker, "this is one of the finest Private Reserves made over the last 2 decades", and gets 97 points. It is a stunning wine. Dark red, long smooth tannins, big fruit. Can only get better with a few years
1993 Bancroft Ranch, Howell Mountain Merlot ($50)Rating: C-D
Jul 12th, 2008
Another blind taste - nose of wet leaves, fills the mouth with really good fruit/tannin flavours. Good long finish and thought to be a cab by almost all at the table. Even Carlos thought it was a Cab when he tasted it blind earlier. Wine of the day - currently selling at half price.
1994 Bancroft Ranch, Howell Mountain Merlot ($90)Rating: C-D
Dec 9th, 2006
Tasted in a blind tasting, dry but bold red with big tannins, mouth feel and huge finish that we all thought was a Cabernet - Ian thought blend, but none of us were right in spotting it as a Merlot. Excellent wine, known as "Merlot on steroids" at the winery
1995 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($200)Rating: C-D
Oct 28th, 2006
Very nice wine. Tasted blind which was great (Sue even picked the year). Won the Grand Jury European Competition in France in 2006 http://www.grandjuryeuropeen.com - 40 Cabs, 20 from France and 20 from California, all tasted blind. Tons of fruit still but drinking very well. Very smooth.
1996 Bancroft Ranch, Howell Mountain Merlot ($50)Rating: C-D
Jul 12th, 2008
      Best Wine - July, 2008

Still got some good fruit in this - hard to believe it is a '96 with this much fruit. Very enjoyable mid-palate and a smooth rolling finish. Only beaten by the '93 on the day.
1996 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($115)Rating: C-D
Dec 9th, 2006
Great berry aroma, definitely an older cabernet. Long finish
1997 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($70)Rating: C-D
Nov 23rd, 2004
      Best Wine - November, 2004

Strong berries on the nose, tastes like an old and robust cab. Good long finish.
2000 Bancroft Ranch, Howell Mountain Merlot ($149)Rating: C-D
Sep 1st, 2007
      Best Merlot of 2007
      Best Wine of 2007
      Best Wine - September, 2007

Great nose, excellent Howell Mountain aroma. Choclatey, velvet polished wine that still has a couple of years on it. "You can keep your nose in the glass for hours" - poor Sue, she can't drink the wine being 4 months pregnant.
2001 Bancroft Ranch, Howell Mountain Merlot ($75)Rating: C-D
Dec 9th, 2006
Good fruit and tannins, lots of structure, should last for years. Another impressive Merlot from Bancroft.
2004 Sbragia Napa Valley Chardonnay ($40)Rating: C-D
Oct 28th, 2006
      Best Value Wine - October, 2006

Single vineyard Chardonnay (Gamble Ranch). Less than 3000 cases produced. Carries the label of winemaker Ed Sbragia. This is a very good Chardonnay - one of the best I have tried in Napa. Made in the French Burgundy style.
2004 Steinhauer Cabernet Sauvignon ($38)Rating: C-D
Mar 21st, 2009
      Best Wine - March, 2009

Great body, dark fruit with long finish. Excellent wine - easily wine of the day.
1995 Bancroft Ranch, Howell Mountain Merlot ($50)Rating: C
Jul 12th, 2008
Tasted blind - brownish colour with good tannins and dryness on the palate. "Blue cheese on the back". Most of the table guessed this as a cabernet - Ian named this one correctly, but that was probably more luck than skill. Lovely wine, beaten on the day by the '93 and '96 - all selling at half price.
1998 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($75)Rating: C
Oct 25th, 2008
Less fruit than other (older) PRs tasted today, but a decent medium finish - probably peaking now.
2001 Bancroft Ranch Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon ($38)Rating: C
Oct 25th, 2008
Superb nose, decent fruit and balanced finished. Shane thought it was a "Good Merlot" - that's what happens when you start tasting at 9am.
2001 Steinhauer Ranch Cabernet Sauvignon ($36)Rating: C
Mar 24th, 2012
Tasted and bought the 2001 Steinhauer at the Beringer Cellar Sale so the normal price would be over $50 a bottle. At $35 this is a steal. 93 points from Parker and is drinking really well today. One of the better wines we tasted out of a list of 40+
2001 Third Century Howell Mountain Cabernet Franc ($29)Rating: C
Sep 1st, 2007
      Best Value Cabernet Franc of 2007
      Best Cabernet Franc of 2007
      Best Value Wine - September, 2007

Good tight tannins and nice finish. Good mountain fruit on the nose, and good body, maybe I should try more Cab Francs
2002 Bancroft Ranch, Howell Mountain Merlot ($75)Rating: C
Dec 9th, 2006
More fruit than the 1994, but still a huge Merlot that could be confused with a Cabernet. We are big fans of Howell Mountain wines, but this Is clearly a spectacular vineyard
2003 Marston Vineyard, Cabernet Sauvignon ($90)Rating: C
Feb 17th, 2008
Stunning nose. Big wine with big fruit, chewy and good tannins. Not sure if it will hold onto tannins. Perhaps getting overpriced ?
2003 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($115)Rating: C
Jul 4th, 2007
Another great showing for this premium of wines. Oaky flavours with hints of chocolate and dark berries. Big tannins, but a robust finish - should improve with time and last for years.
2004 Alluvium Red ($20)Rating: C
Oct 25th, 2008
Great value wine, fruity and smooth witha very pleasing finish. Spectacular midweek wine.
2004 Bancroft Ranch, Howell Mountain Merlot ($75)Rating: C
Jul 12th, 2008
Very fruity and smooth - "like fruit yoghurt". You can taste the mountain fruit in this one - we tasted this blind and almost all of us thought it was a Cabernet - very tricky this vineyard, but a lovely wine.
2004 Rancho del Oso Cabernet Sauvignon ($38)Rating: C
Mar 21st, 2009
Chalky tannins with good fruit int he middle and medium long finish.
2004 Steinhauer Ranch, Cabernet Franc ($50)Rating: C
Aug 23rd, 2008
      Best Value Cabernet Franc of 2008

Beautiful Cab Franc from Howell Mountain. Dark ruby red with the essence of mountain fruit you would expect from the Howell Mountain vineyard. Smooth finish. Very good
2005 Rancho Del Oso Cabernet Sauvignon ($90)Rating: C
Oct 11th, 2008
Very big, good fruit and tannins, will improve in time.
2005 Spring Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon ($95)Rating: C
Oct 11th, 2008
Very drinkable out of the bottle, very soft with lighter tannins than other wines. We thought it was Merlot, because it was so soft. nice fruit, smooth with a medium finish.
2005 Steinhauer Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($70)Rating: C
Oct 25th, 2008
Smoky cherry and caramel flavours - very chewy and drinkable
2006 Sbragia Napa Valley Chardonnay ($40)Rating: C
Jul 12th, 2008
      Best Chardonnay of 2008
      Best Value Chardonnay of 2008

Light and balanced Chardonnay. A little oak and grapefruit flavours. We may not be big white drinkers but we all liked the Sbragia.
1992 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($75)Rating: B-C
Oct 25th, 2008
"Good length" Little fruit remaining, but a good finish
1999 Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon ($80)Rating: B-C
Nov 4th, 2006
Dry with good structure, but no fruit and a medium finish. Drinkable, but not as good as hoped for the price or pedigree.
2001 Montagia Cabernet Sauvignon ($80)Rating: B-C
Feb 17th, 2008
Good fruit, good mouth. Nice finish - a good drinking wine.
2001 St Helena Cabernet Sauvignon ($39)Rating: B-C
Oct 25th, 2008
Good nose, undertones of tar on the palate with some fruit and smooth tannins
2002 Rancho del Oso Cabernet Sauvignon ($90)Rating: B-C
Oct 28th, 2006
Opened up the bottle in front of us so it definitely needed some time. Very fruity. I would like to try it again. Single vineyard Cabernet
2002 Steinhauer Vineyard Cabernet Franc ($23)Rating: B-C
Oct 25th, 2008
Nice drinkable Cabernet Franc, would be great in a blend.
2003 Bancroft Ranch, Howell Mountain Merlot ($75)Rating: B-C
Feb 17th, 2008
Very smooth with medium finish. not much body, middle palate. Nice midweek wine.
2003 Knights Valley Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($30)Rating: B-C
Oct 25th, 2008
Tasted from 3L bottle - mouth filling, very smooth and short-medium finish
2003 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($20)Rating: B-C
Oct 25th, 2008
Very drinkable midweek cabernet.
2004 Chabot Cabernet Sauvignon ($38)Rating: B-C
Mar 21st, 2009
Nice and choclatey, good drinker
2004 Knights Valley Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($50)Rating: B-C
Aug 23rd, 2008
Tobacco on the nose. Chewy finish. Needs some time. Would like to come back to this one
2004 Private Reserve Chardonnay ($35)Rating: B-C
Oct 28th, 2006
Made from the best grapes of four vineyards, this is a Chardonnay that a white wine drinker would love. Oaky, toasty, buttery. I was not mad about it.
2005 Bancroft Ranch Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon ($90)Rating: B-C
Oct 11th, 2008
Very approachable, good fruit with a medium finish. Part of the blend for PR05.
2005 Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($40)Rating: B-C
Jul 11th, 2009
Medium depth, good tannins shorter on finish, but has potential for aging.
2006 Private Reserve Chardonnay ($35)Rating: B-C
Jul 12th, 2008
Oakier with more caramel than the Sbragia - but with a relatively sharper finish, still very drinkable.
1993 Bancroft Ranch Howell Mountain Merlot ($33)Rating: B
Oct 25th, 2008
Older tasting Merlot with minimal fruit, but still some structure. Past it's best
1999 Bancroft Ranch, Howell Mountain Cabernet Sauvignon ($75)Rating: B
Feb 18th, 2006
More fruit and flavour in this wine than the others tasted, but a slightly odd taste with no finish. Guest taster Deanna thought there was a salty taste of olives ? in the wine.
2000 Montagia, Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($80)Rating: B
Feb 18th, 2006
Blended by Joe Montana from 49er fame. I think Joe is amazing, but the wine is kind of flat, no mouth feel and no finish. Crazy at this price, must have been thinking of Jerry Rice when they picked this price point.
2001 Quarry Cabernet Sauvignon ($90)Rating: B
Feb 18th, 2006
The "Quarry" name matches this wine - tastes like dirt and leaves a hole in your mouth. Surprisingly no fruit or structure ofr a 2001 Cab and no finish to remember.
2003 Chabot Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($38)Rating: B
Oct 25th, 2008
Big finish, but nothing up front - better in a blend.
2005 Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon ($25)Rating: B
Jul 1st, 2008
Good fruit and balance, a good match for a steak dinner. Not a lot of tannins - should last for a few years, but not forever.
2005 Marston Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon ($70)Rating: B
Oct 25th, 2008
Aniseed and berries - medium fruit
2005 Napa Valley Pinot Noir ($12)Rating: B
Oct 25th, 2008
Tight and fruity flavour but drinkable at $12
2006 Stanly Ranch Chardonnay, Carneros ($20)Rating: B
Aug 23rd, 2008
We were offered the Stanly Ranch Chardonnay at $12 a bottle. At that price it is ridiculously good value as it is a nice refreshing Chardonnay. First wine of the day and pleasantly surprised.
2007 Napa Valley Pinot Noir ($25)Rating: B
Aug 23rd, 2008
Regularly $25, we were offered bottles at $15 each, which is again a steal. Very toasty Pinot, we had remarks of "carmel" and "butterscotch"
1997 Third Century Cabernet Franc ($32)Rating: A-B
Mar 21st, 2009
Very tannic, tastes like leathery grape skins. Probably past its peak, should have been blended into a cab for me.
2001 Alluvium Merlot ($15)Rating: A-B
Mar 21st, 2009
"Watery lettuce" - smells funky and has little on the palate

Sort by : Vintage / Name / Rating
Beringer Vineyards winery, Beringer Vineyards

Beringer Vineyards winery, Beringer Vineyards

Beringer Vineyards winery, Beringer Vineyards

Beringer Vineyards winery, Beringer Vineyards


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