Beringer Vineyards has owned and farmed its Knights Valley vineyards since the mid-1960s, when the Beringer family recognized that the cobbled, rocky alluvial soils were a great place to grow high quality wine grapes. The Knights Valley designation was first used on a Beringer label in 1974. Beringer was instrumental in garnering official recognition for the area in 1983 as a premier wine growing region with the award of its own American Viticulture Area (AVA) designation.
"This is a solid red with iron and dark berries, as well as currants and hot stones. Full-bodied, layered and rich. Reserved and tight. Beautiful finish. One of the best values in serious cabernet from California. Drink or hold." Outstanding - James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, May 2019
"Moving to the reds, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon comes from the northern end of Knights Valley and is a blend of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% each of Cabernet Franc and Merlot, and the balance Petit Verdot, brought up in 30% new French oak. Savory notes of dried herbs, cedar box, spice, and red and black fruits all give way to a medium to full-bodied, charming, nicely balanced Cabernet Sauvignon that offers serious bang for the buck. I suspect it will keep for a decade or more." - Jeb Dunnuck, February 2019
"Blended of 88% Cabernet Sauvignon, 5% Cabernet Franc, 5% Merlot and 2% Petit Verdot aged in 30 new French oak for 16 months, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Knights Valley features creme de cassis, Black Forest cake and wild blueberry scents with suggestions of wild sage, black soil and tapenade. Full bodied with a wonderfully plush, fine-grained frame, it has a lively line cutting through the densely packed fruit, finishing long. 82,215 cases produced." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Wine Advocate, October 2018
This Cabernet is built each vintage on the notion of a Bordeaux blend, with soft and silky tannins crafted for immediate enjoyment. Aromas of lavender and clove join flavors of dark red fruit led by boysenberry, huckleberry, raspberry, black cherry and evident oak spice are joined with more traditional Knights Valley tones of black and blue fruits. Fine acidity and elegant structure lead to a touch of licorice and mocha, rounding out a lingering, pleasant finish.
The 2016 Sonoma harvest was early, with a mostly normal yield of exceptional quality fruit throughout the state. A relatively even growing season followed welcome winter rains that helped to alleviate the drought. Temperatures cooled down mid-September, providing a welcome seven to ten-day break in between harvesting. Overall, yields were down from the long-term average, while wine quality was exemplary.
Located 17 miles northwest of the winery, Knights Valley vineyard is approximately 600 acres, and has rocky, well-drained soils that are perfectly suited to Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot.
To maintain the unique characteristics of the different lots from varying areas of the vineyard, each is monitored carefully through the vinification and aging process. Extended maceration created larger tannins to enhance the lush mouthfeel of the blend and extracted a maximum of color, aromas and flavors. The wines were then aged in French oak barrels (30 percent new) for sixteen months and underwent malolactic fermentation for further development of texture and mouthfeel.
Mark Beringer, great-great-grandson of Beringer Vineyards' founding brother Jacob Beringer, was immersed in wine from the moment he was born in the heart of the Napa Valley. As the direct descendant to Beringer's first winemaker and one of the most iconic family names in Napa Valley wine history, he knew from a young age that he would follow in the footsteps of his ancestors. As a young man he spent many hours working in his family's wine store in Saint Helena, expanding his knowledge of wine as well as gaining an appreciation for wines outside of the famous region he has always called home.