Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1996

  • we95
  • wa91
  • ws90
Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon 1996


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The 1996 is an intensely structured blend of Cabernet Sauvignon from our Howell Mountain vineyards (Tre Colline and Bancroft) and our St. Helena vineyards (Home and Chabot) with rich tannins and concentrated flavors of ripe cherries, black currants, mint and cedar. Vintage Release: September 2000. Winemaster's Comments "Since I began combining Cabernets from several vineyards for this reserve wine, now almost 20 years ago, I've been citing the expression, 'the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.' In this vintage, the wine gives extra proof of that. Each vineyard's Cabernet had its characteristic flavors, and the French oak barrels added their own notes, so the wine began with the classic notes of ripe cherries, cassis, light minty herbs, vanilla, spice and toasty oak. But it also has a whole other dimension of aromas and flavors: hints of cocoa, roasted coffee beans, even tobacco and licorice. In the nose and in the mouth, this wine just keeps revealing itself. Uncovering these layers is part of the magic of making and drinking wine, and one of the reasons my job is endlessly fascinating." -Ed Sbragia, Winemaster
Category Red Wine
Region California, Napa Valley
Brand Beringer
  • we95

Wine EnthusiastThis wine is still young and precocious, but don't judge it too quickly. Let it air in your glass, and watch how it changes. One minute it's all cherries and smoke; the next it heaves up a great draught of currants, cocoa and cedar. It's a big wine but deceptive; the tannins are airy and lilting, there's charm and underneath, enormous complexity. It's best left alone for a few more years, but it's really very lovely now.

Steve Heimoff, February 1, 2001
  • wa91

Wine AdvocateThe 1996 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve reveals more concentration as well as higher tannin than the 1995. I know it is a trade-off, but I suspect this vintage will not be as sexy in its youthfulness as the 1995. The black ruby/purple-colored 1996 offers more licorice, in addition to the obvious levels of pain grille, jammy black currant fruit, and spice notes. Structured, full-bodied, and powerful, this may be a Private Reserve to cellar for several years, and consume over the subsequent 15-18.

Robert Parker, December 1998
  • ws90

Wine SpectatorThis is an outstanding wine, ripe and intense, with firm layers of earthy currant, anise, black cherry and plummy flavors framed by tight tannins and spicy, cedary oak notes. Best from 2002 through 2010. 14,000 cases made.

James Laube, May 15, 2001