Vinous 91 points - (14.5% alcohol; 80% St. Helena, 18% Steinhauer, 1% Petit Verdot and 1% Cabernet Franc): Healthy medium ruby. High-pitched aromas of blueberry, boysenberry and exotic flowers, with a hint of licorice pastille and a cool medicinal quality. In a rather broad style, showing good energy as well as a faint greenness to the flavors of blackberry and candied violet. Finishes with substantial tongue-coasting tannins. Showing moderate complexity now, this rather laid-back wine needs time in bottle to evolve and blossom. Made mostly from fruit in Beringer’s Home vineyard in St. Helena. Just 1,211 cases made.
Wine Advocate 89 points - Far better than the 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Knight’s Valley is the 1,500-case cuvee of 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve Knight’s Valley. It possesses more chocolate, black currant and cherry fruit notes in addition to a silky texture, good depth, and a decade worth of aging potential. (Dec 2010)
Wine Spectator 92 points - The 2008 Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve is a complete, layered wine. An open, expressive bouquet leads to dark red cherries, savory herbs, minerals, graphite and menthol. Firm yet well-integrated tannins frame the long finish. This, too, could use additional bottle age to come together. The fruit was predominantly sourced from the Home Vineyard in St. Helena. The final blend includes a touch of Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc. Anticipated maturity: 2013-2023.
Patience required for this taut, dense, focused effort, with layers of mineral, cedar, dried berry, black licorice and espresso. Shows great structure and focus, yet this is very tight and backward now. Best from 2013 through 2023. 1,211 cases made. –JL (May 31 2012)