Beringer Vineyards is one of the oldest wineries in California having been established in 1868 by the Beringer brothers. Originally from Germany they moved to the Napa Valley when they heard it was ideally suited for growing grapes similar to their birthplace. Though the winery has now been owned by several different companies it still strives to produce quality wine, with many different price points for everyone to choose from. Today’s wine comes from their second tier up from the bottom, called Founders’ Estate.
We originally found this wine at Liquor Crossing in Red Deer but recently discovered it to be $5 cheaper at Costco. At this price and quality it would make a great house wine anywhere, which is probably why Beringer leads the restaurant sales market in North America.
As with my last review, this wine comes from a winery in Napa Valley but chances are very little of the grapes have come from the popular valley itself. California is listed on the bottle so the grapes have all originated from the state. As a side note, when looking at wine labels, the more specific a region the label shows the more likely the grapes have come from one smaller area. This usually means the grapes have been more carefully chosen and should mean a higher quality wine.
See: Deep purple ruby colour, quite dense with thick legs. Certainly genuine to this thick skinned grape variety. With some age it will probably lose the purple and become more ruby red.
Smell: This wine smells of intense dark berry aromas. I smell plenty of black currants, black berries, and a little blueberry. Along with the fruit comes some smoke, cedar shavings, something kind of brambly or earthy, some minty herbs, together with sweet vanilla aromas. No minerality or peppery spice here but definitely oaked. For being an inexpensive wine there is a surprising amount of layering and it evolves as it sits longer.
Taste: The wine is full bodied with a dense smooth texture, moderated soft tannins and low acidity. There is some slight sweetness as well, which most people will find quite appealing. The wine is very fruit forward with ripe flavours of black berry and currants, some plum, toast, and vanilla. The finish is medium in length with subtle amounts of cigar or tobacco, and more mint.
Conclusion: With all of its fruity aromas and flavours I think most people would appreciate this wine and find it very drinkable, 9.5/10. No wonder it is seen on so many wine lists in restaurants. This would certainly make the short list of wines I’d drink every day if I could. I’m rating it with an 8.5/10, and every day drinker. It would rate higher if it were just a bit more refined and less sweet.
- Cabernet Sauvignon
- USA, California
- 2013 – 13.9%
- Beringer Vineyards (Founders’ Estate)
- $12.50 at Red Deer Costco
- Composite cork