Wine Advocate 93 points - The Chardonnay Private Reserve became famous under the helmsmanship of chief winemaker Ed Sbragia, and Laurie Hook has refined it ever so slightly by somewhat backing off the oak, and maintaining the depth and richness, but with more precision and refinement. The full-bodied 2012 Chardonnay Private Reserve exhibits wonderful orange blossom, white peach and pineapple fruit, a subtle touch of vanillin and toast, and a nicely layered, pure style with terrific fruit intensity. It is a great value, especially if you compare its quality to just about any premier cru or grand cru white Burgundy selling for 2-10 times as much. Drink now (Oct 2014)
Wine Spectator 93 points - Shows off seductive notes of smoky, toasty oak and cream, with fresh, rich, vibrant fruit to match. The flavors of poached pear, fig, honeydew melon, spice and black licorice all fold together on a long, pure, persistent finish. Drink now through 2020. From California.—J.L. (Apr 2 2014)
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"Shows off seductive notes of smoky, toasty oak and cream, with fresh, rich, vibrant fruit to match. The flavors of poached pear, fig, honeydew melon, spice and black licorice all fold together on a long, pure, persistent finish. Drink now through 2020." James Laube
When I first began making Private Reserve Chardonnay, back in 1978, we simply went out into our vineyards and selected the grapes with the most concentrated, complex flavors. We still make this selection, and we still recognize that certain vineyard blocks consistently produce richer fruit. However, in the decades since, we`ve learned to take early steps that help us grow more luscious fruit through the viticultural practices we have adopted. Now we are truly producing the grapes for this wine `by the vine,` rather than by vineyard selection only. We ensure that each vine is balanced individually in terms of the amount of fruit relative to the foliage. That process starts at pruning and carries on throughout the growing season as our vineyard workers assess and adjust each vine and its crop. This approach bumps up the quality of all our Chardonnays and gives me even more choices for the special fruit I select for the Private Reserve. I believe our early and constant attention to the vine is really paying off in the concentrated aromas and flavors we are getting in the glass.
-Ed Sbragia, Winemaster
Beringer Vineyards – The Beginning
Our history dates back to the year 1868, when Jacob Beringer, enticed by the splendid opportunities of the new world, sailed from his home in Mainz, Germany to New York. However, New York did not appeal to Jacob and after hearing that the warm and Mediterranean plains of California were quite similar to the vineyards back home, he soon made his way to the Napa Valley. It was here that Jacob Beringer, along with his brother, Frederick Beringer, purchased land for the first Beringer Vineyard in 1875.
Beringer Vineyards – Today
Beringer Vineyards holds the distinction of being the oldest continuously operating winery in the Napa Valley. It is also one of the very few wineries that survived the draconian prohibition of 1922, which lasted over a decade. The estate is also in the National Register for Historic Places as a historic district, a status it has held since 2001. With its perfect blend of modern technology and age old traditions, Beringer Vineyards still produces memorable wines that continue to bring recognition to the company and all of Napa Valley.