It was a damp evening and I found myself fancying a big, earthy, spicy California Cabernet. As thunder rumbled distantly, I enthusiastically popped open Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009. Beringer is one of the most recognized names in California; they produce a full spectrum of bottles, from everyday table wines to covetable high end bottles that can be cellared for decades[Check out the wonderful Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvingnon 2007]. Beringer Knights Valley falls somewhere in the middle, with the Reserve being a little higher up on the scale. Knights Valley was first used on a Beringer label in 1974; the vineyards are located in northeastern Sonoma and possess rich, volcanic, well-drained soils. Grapes from different areas in the vineyard were vinified and aged separately in order “to maintain the unique characteristics” and were aged in small French oak barrels before being blended.
Lush, dark ruby-violet in colour, after aerating sultry aromas of cherry, earthy tobacco, dried leaves and woodsy oak rose heartily from my glass. Jammy cherry and plum flavours mingled with juicy blackberry and were supported by smoky toast elements in the full body. My cilantro pesto brought out rich mocha notes whilst solid, smooth tannins emphasized a velvety sumptuousness. Spicy black pepper and herbaceous anise mingled with cozy vanilla in the lengthy finish. Sweet, spicy and earthy, this is a well structured glass that is contemplative and luscious on its own or with dinner.
Cabernet Sauvignon with winemaker’s blend of Merlot and Cabernet Franc
Vinted and Bottled by Beringer Vineyards, Napa
Enjoy now thru 2020
*Rated 91 points by Wine Spectator