The 2012 vintage will go down as one of the most monumental in recent history. Not since 2007 would Robert Parker rain so many perfect 100-point scores on the Napa Valley elite.
The challenge for collectors will come at the cash register. With the high-end wine market percolating like never before, release prices are soaring. Despite ample yields, based on our July discussions up and down Highway 29, demand far exceeds supply. Nearly every top-rated Cabernet Sauvignon will set you back $300+ on release. Most are fully allocated prior to release day. Procrastinators will pay the piper, as prices on the secondary market are likely to spike in the coming year.
If your investment advisor (or still worse, your spouse!) has you on a tight leash, and you’re looking to sock away a half-dozen bottles of one of Napa Valley’s most iconic wines for a price that won’t get you into trouble, today’s your lucky day.
Make no doubt about it: Despite today’s modest pricetag, winemaker Laurie Hook’s Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve — a bottle Parker called “classic, quintessential Napa Cabernet Sauvignon” — ranks among the greatest wines of 2012. Here’s why.
A warm, dry spring made for an unusually even set. The summer months continued warm and dry, but largely absent the torrid heat spikes that often blister Napa Valley clusters. Most importantly, nights were cool, keeping acids firm. Harvest went off without a hitch as turquoise skies reigned supreme.
The beauty of Beringer’s Private Reserve lies in the winery’s varied vineyard holdings, allowing a master blender like Hook to toy with dozens of assemblages before settling on a final blend. The 2012 Private Reserve is drawn from a half dozen disparate parts, including the famed Steinhauer Ranch Vineyard (30%), which provides structural backbone and girth. Beringer’s Bancroft Ranch Vineyard, set high above the fog line on Howell Mountain, offers up great density and mountain muscle, as well as the pine-needle aromatics for which the mountain is so well known. Beringer’s St. Helena Home Vineyard and another luscious, black-fruit lot from Rutherford provide the black-fruit filling. Aged for 18 months in custom-made Nevers cooperage, 95% of which was new, the 2012 Private Reserve may well be the most extraordinary Cabernet Sauvignon ever crafted at Beringer.
Robert Parker went on an adjectival tirade, describing “abundant aromas of charcoal, burning embers, creme de cassis, chocolate, blackberries and licorice. The … full-bodied texture along with terrific purity and a savory, rich mouthfeel result in a classic, quintessential Napa Cabernet Sauvignon to drink now and over the next 20-25 years.”
96 points from Parker. As the winery prepares for its September release, this morning the WineAccess membership comes first. Suggested retail: $175. Today: $149. Shipping included on Three. 300 bottles are up for grabs.
We noticed that the credit card number you entered matches one of your saved credit cards. We’ve updated your saved card with the new information.