2005 Beringer Cabernet Knights Valley

High performance wine.

Rating:  Delivers generously on all of Cabernet's desirable characteristics.  Classy.  Still very young.  Put a bottle or two away. $22-ish

The rest of the story:
Let's start out by getting the obvious out of the way.  Beringer is part of a global beverage conglomerate.  A huge organization spanning many brands, products, and continents. Big.  Big.  Big.  But mass production be damned - we've got to be honest - this wine is a cut above.

The Knights Valley AVA is sandwiched between the Alexander Valley to the west and the Mayacamas range to the east.  In this, the warmest AVA in Sonoma County, some serious Cabernet fruit comes to life.  It's a lesser known AVA, so we like it for that, too, as it doesn't (yet) command the premiums of its highfalutin neighbors Chalk Hill and Napa Valley.

Made entirely of Cabernet, the fruit is tight, slightly green, and hot, probably just a sign of its youth - and its potential for longevity.  It's ageworthy, for sure, while very enjoyable now.  It's smoothly integrated tannins lend a very smooth mouthfeel.  Overall, it's a very pleasing drink.  We'll look forward to trying it again in five or so years.

While we prefer to support the independent grower-producer, one cannot deny that this is an impressive delivery from this monstrous production house.  Unfortunately, questions we sent Beringer while researching this article went unanswered, so we can't tell you how much of this they made, whether it's estate fruit or sourced, and other background items.  I guess that's what happens when you get so fucking huge.

Though the current vintage is 2007, you can probably still find some of the 2005 and 2006 out there.  When we first tasted this vintage, we noted that we were looking forward to seeing what the 2007 vintage version of this wine had to offer.  And we did.  We'll post that review tomorrow.

We paid $21.99 for this bottle, but have seen it as high as $30 and as low as $17.99, so it's worth shopping around for, especially if you order wine online.