Beringer Vineyards St Helena
Now a part of the global Beringer Blass group, this winery was established 125 years ago and has always produced wines of good to very good quality at all price levels. Much of this success must be attributed to the skills of winemaking chief Ed Sbragia whose top cuvées remain some of the very best in California.
He has handed over the operational winemaking reins to his deputy Laurie Hook, while spending more time on his own SBRAGIA FAMILY wines. Estate vineyards continue to be developed and for a number of the premium labels the home St Helena vineyard, planted on well drained soils in the Spring Mountain foothills, remains a key to quality. The two entry-level ranges provide sound, everyday wines. The Classics range emphasises the classic varieties whereas the Los Hermanos wines are made in a fruit forward and off-dry style for the whites.
The Founders Estate range is a level up and generally some oak, new and old, is used to lend structure and an added dimension to the wines. Regional wines, mostly from Napa and Knights Valley are produced with more of an emphasis on terroir. Some new French oak is used for ageing and some good bottles can be found. There are also a small number of Distinction Series wines released which include the Knights Valley Reserve Cabernet along with a Luminus Chardonnay and Quantum a red blend. At the pinnacle are the Private Reserve and Single Vineyard labels. A number of top Cabernets come from a range of single vineyards. A small range of wines (£C-£D) are also available under the Modern Heritage brand and includes examples from Pinot Noir and Riesling. (DM)
To find out more about Benessere Vineyards and their wines, and to see how we reviewed and rated their wines you can check out the Wine Guide Napa and Carneros..
Or indeed you can check out the new extensively updated 9th edition Wine Behind the Label Wine Guide that is 2250 pages, it reviews around 4000 vineyards and over 30,000 wines. (DM)