Mission Codename Speechless
STOP THE PRESSES. Like witnessing a natural wonder or a landmark monument for the first time, there is something spectacular - no, make that beyond belief - about seeing a 99-pointer 2015 Cabernet blue-chip classic at $99.99 when it’s the flagship wine of an iconic Napa Valley institution dating back to 1876, and it happens to be at the best price anywhere on Planet Earth.
An impenetrable inky black core opens to a glowing slender purple-ruby rim. Blackberries, tobacco, cigar box, coffee cake, vanilla bean, and fresh shiitake are only some of the standout aromatics on an explosive nose. Super-concentrated once it graces the mouth with its presence, with polished and refined tannins that caress the palate. Muscular yet with a delicate perfume that echoes infinitely, going on and on as if the finish is on an eternal loop. While a top cut of aged steak would sing as a starting idea for classic pairing suggestions with such an addictive and classy Cabernet Sauvignon, dark chocolate too would fascinate. The possibilities are endless and so is the cellaring potential with this work of genius.
Ending up speechless for any further thoughts in the presence of such beauty, we refer to Robert Parker in explaining why Beringer’s Private Reserve has become the legend it is; “Beringer sells all their single-vineyard Cabernet Sauvignons that make up the blend for the Private Reserve to their VIP customers at the winery or through their mailing list. Interestingly, each year when I taste through these wines, the sum of the individual parts is always the best wine. As good as the single-vineyard cuvees tend to be, and they’re all very different, the Private Reserve blend is as good or better than the finest single vineyard, demonstrating that the blending process is essential and important. In short, the Private Reserve always seems to outscore and show more complexity than most of the single-vineyard Cabernets.”
As all good things in life must come to an end, this wine will sell out. Buy as much as you can manage, Napa Cabernet under $100 just does not get better.
Here’s what the wine press has to say:
99 Points – James Suckling - “#24 on Top 100 Wines in the World 2018. The spice and walnut aromas are so enticing. Undertones of blackberries and black truffles. Full-bodied, dense and layered with fantastic tension and seamless tannins. It goes on for minutes. All about classic structure and beauty. Try in 2021.”
97 Points – Jeb Dunnuck - “I was able to taste to two vintages of the Private Reserve, and the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve comes from a vintage loved by the estate. The final blend is the normal 97% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc, and the rest Petit Verdot brought up in 85% new French oak. This full-bodied, ripe, voluptuous beauty shows the vintage to a T, offering a blast of sweet blackcurrants, licorice, ground herbs, and graphite aromas and flavors. Blockbuster styled, with full body and an expansive, sexy texture, it has the depth and density to continue drinking brilliantly for 20+ years. Drink 2019-2039.”
95+ Points – Wine Advocate - “Containing the tiniest splashes of Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot, the 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve has a deep garnet-purple color and nose of plum preserves, baked blackberries and cassis with hints of menthol, sandalwood and chocolate box. Full-bodied with soft, seductive tannins and a lively backbone supporting the generous, ripe, opulent fruit, it has a decadent spiciness and great length. Drink 2018-2030.”
What the Winery Says
2015 'Private Reserve' Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon
- Mark Beringer
- 97% Cabernet Sauvignon, 2% Cabernet Franc, 1% Petite Verdot
- Napa Valley
- 62% Howell Mountain (Bancroft & Steinhauer Ranches), 28% St. Helena (Home & Chabot Vineyards), 5% Spring Mountain (Marston Ranch), 5% Mt. Veeder (Derr Family Vineyard)
- Harvest dates
- September 10 - October 20, 2015
- 20 months in 85% new French oak