Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
2002 / 750 ml.
- SP Wine Spectator
- WE Wine Enthusiast
- OT Other Review Service
- RP Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate
- ST Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar
- Gold Premier Gold - Best Value*
- Plat Premier Platinum - Our Highest Recommendation
- * as rated by our staff
95 pts. Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate: June, 2012
Put them all together and you have the 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve, a sensational 14,000-case cuvee that is one of the benchmarks for what Napa Valley is capable of achieving. Its dense purple color is followed by copious notes of smoky barbecue, creme de cassis, white chocolate, blackberries, charcoal and truffles. Full-bodied, fleshy and succulent, with sweet tannins in the finish, this 2002 has not yet hit full maturity. Give it another 2–4 years of cellaring, and drink it over the following two decades. I asked the winemaking team what the final blend was for the 2002 Private Reserve, and to the best of their recollection, the largest component was from Steinhauer Ranch (50%), followed by St. Helena Home Ranch (23%) and tiny percentages of Bancroft, Rancho del Oso, Chabot, Marston, and some Cabernet Franc from Howell Mountain.
94 pts. Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate: June, 2011
Production: 14,200 cases; Alcohol: 14.2%; Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon; Harvest Dates: September 21 to October 16. A gorgeous growing season was mild until the end of September when temperatures soared. The results are powerful, concentrated, flamboyant 2002s in Napa. The 2002 Private Reserve is a blend of fruit from Steinhauer Ranch (48%), St. Helena Home Vineyard (23%), Marston Ranch (8%), Bancroft Ranch (7%), Rancho del Oso (6%) and the balance Chabot Vineyard. This exuberant, powerful wine exhibits a dense purple color as well as a wonderful, sexy, earthy, flamboyant bouquet and sweet, fat, fleshy flavors. This is a succulent, classic California fruit bomb offering up spice box, licorice, tobacco leaf, seductive smoky oak, and abundant creme de cassis and blackberry fruit. Viscous, thick and juicy, it appears to be on a relatively fast evolutionary track and can be drunk now or cellared for another 10–15 years.
94 pts. Stephen Tanzer’s International Wine Cellar:
Good full ruby-red. Sexy aromas of currant and dark chocolate. Compellingly sweet and densely packed, with lovely vinosity giving shape to the flavors of dark berries, cedar and minerals. Very fine-grained and very long on the palate, with the tannins perfectly buffered by the wine's material. This wine, mostly from Steinhauer and St. Helena fruit, went into the barrel in January of 2003 and remained there for two years, undisturbed except for a monthly topping-up. Has the balance to offer considerable early appeal, but this bottling has a long track record for aging gracefully in bottle and surprising with its longevity.
94 pts. Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate: December, 2005
The 2002 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve may not equal the fabulous concentration and intensity of the 2001, but it’s not far off the mark. It is a fruit-forward, softer, more flamboyant, already seductive effort displaying gorgeous notes of chocolaty creme de cassis, some spicy, high-quality, toasty oak, a rich, plush, savory, expansive mid-palate, and a long, heady finish with elevated glycerin and plenty of sweet tannin and fruit. This wine is delicious yet promises to age gorgeously for 15–20 years. Ed Sbragia compares it to the 1992 which, by the way, is drinking superbly in 2005, but is one of those rare vintages that has never gone through a closed period. It’s always a fascinating education to taste through these component parts, but the resulting blend that Ed Sbragia puts together, the extraordinary Private Reserve, is one of the great Cabernet Sauvignons of California and he has fashioned a succession of beauties since 1991.
88 pts. Wine Spectator: November 15, 2006
Quite loamy and earthy, yet there’s a savory richness, with dried currant, sage and cedary oak flavors. Excellent balance and persistence. Best from 2008 through 2012.