What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

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Jim F
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What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

#1 Post by Jim F » December 18th, 2016, 4:04 pm

Sipping a 2012 KV, have had the 2013 and the 2010 recently and totally unimpressed. I used to like these a lot as a house wine. More recent vintages just seem to lack any stuffing whatsoever. Maybe there is nothing wrong with them, maybe my palate has just chamged. But I wonder if the introduction of a reserve KV in 2010 ( I think it was) could have robbed the regular cuvee of its source of goodness? Any other thoughts out there?
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What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

#2 Post by Victor Hong » December 18th, 2016, 5:46 pm

You are correct. The last great vintages far pre-dated the 2010, although the pricing and naming portray otherwise.
Last week, I drank a 1985, which was still in the late stages of its prime.....and far better than recent, over-priced vintages. The 1996 vintage was the first downdraft toward high-priced mediocrity.
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What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

#3 Post by Marc Frontario » December 18th, 2016, 6:16 pm

Just grabbed a 2013 because I thought the wife would like it....wow, very unimpressed, completely generic with little to no character....disappointing
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What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

#4 Post by Victor Hong » December 18th, 2016, 6:36 pm

Many of the plots formerly in the Knights Valley bottling now go into the Private Reserve bottling,
such that the recent Knight Valley vintages consist of lesser vats or just purchased generic juice.
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What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

#5 Post by Jim F » December 18th, 2016, 7:40 pm

And the KV reserve is no great shakes or value. Too bad.
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What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

#6 Post by Nolan E » December 18th, 2016, 7:43 pm

Victor Hong wrote:Many of the plots formerly in the Knights Valley bottling now go into the Private Reserve bottling,
such that the recent Knight Valley vintages consist of lesser vats or just purchased generic juice.
Knights Valley isn't in Napa, so if they're adding that to the PR it can't be much.
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What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

#7 Post by Paul Flynn » December 19th, 2016, 5:23 am

Haven't had a really stellar one of these made after the 90s.
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What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

#8 Post by Victor Hong » December 19th, 2016, 5:48 am

Paul Flynn wrote:Haven't had a really stellar one of these made after the 90s.
There is not one to be had. [snort.gif]
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What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

#9 Post by Arv R » December 19th, 2016, 12:47 pm

They don't make that much of the KV Reserve, maybe 500-1000 cases or so? Its not that widely distributed. I've got a bottle from the 90s, so its been out there for a while.

Had a pretty good bottle of the 2001 maybe a year or so ago. The 2012 was nothing special (to me). And I put a 2013 down for old times sake, but don't have any expectations.

These are probably more wines that people will end up consuming at restaurants, or by the glass, rather than cellaring themselves, now.

In Western supermarkets one sometimes sees little winery rebate tags attached to the necks, which can make the base KV as cheap as $16, $17ish at times. Perhaps at that price, people can be more forgiving.
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What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

#10 Post by michael dietrich » December 19th, 2016, 4:55 pm

I sell wine here in Oregon. A couple of months ago I was visited by some people from Rodney Strong. One of the wines I tasted was 2013 Knights Valley Cab 2013. I was very impressed. They said that Beringer had gotten into a dispute with their fruit sources in KV. At that point Rodney Strong picked up those contracts. Their version in 2013 was much better than the recent versions of Beringer IMO. The Rodney Strong version sell for $26. This could certainly be a factor in how Beringer version has changed since 2012 anyway. The previous comments I would agree with.

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What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

#11 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » December 19th, 2016, 5:19 pm

While it's not my preferred style, Rodney Strong has been upgrading their portfolio. Beringer, except at the top end, has been downgrading or just backsliding.
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What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

#12 Post by Ian Dorin » December 19th, 2016, 5:45 pm

Beringer=Owned by Treasury Wine Estates, therefore made in volume, not quality. The big box brands will continue to move this way, and will inevitably be caveat emptor.
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What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

#13 Post by D@vid Bu3ker » December 19th, 2016, 7:12 pm

The top end Beringer wines are still really good.
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What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

#14 Post by Jim F » December 19th, 2016, 7:55 pm

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:The top end Beringer wines are still really good.
Absolutely agree with that! Well, the cabernet and merlot. The chardonnay can be hit or miss depending on how oaky it can be.
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What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

#15 Post by Arv R » December 19th, 2016, 8:15 pm

michael dietrich wrote:I sell wine here in Oregon. A couple of months ago I was visited by some people from Rodney Strong. One of the wines I tasted was 2013 Knights Valley Cab 2013. I was very impressed. They said that Beringer had gotten into a dispute with their fruit sources in KV. At that point Rodney Strong picked up those contracts. Their version in 2013 was much better than the recent versions of Beringer IMO. The Rodney Strong version sell for $26. This could certainly be a factor in how Beringer version has changed since 2012 anyway. The previous comments I would agree with.
We had a great visit at Rodney Strong over the summer, so thanks for that info. I had not realized that they were getting more/better fruit. I never really hear that estate mentioned among oenophiles.
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What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

#16 Post by Dennis Borczon » December 20th, 2016, 5:03 am

2 weeks ago drank a 1994 Beringer Bancroft Ranch merlot that was simply amazing. Tight and structured, with just maturing fruit with tertiary characters. It blew away (but not by much?) a couple of old Montelana Cabernet reserves from the same era. Wish I would have saved a few more. Would prefer these by a mile to any 91-95 Petrus bottlings. Used to be something like 50 bucks...Sbragia back in the day did some amazing things with the fruit they sourced.

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What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

#17 Post by Carlos Duarte » December 20th, 2016, 6:57 am

I spent a few more bucks on the 2010 Beringer Reserve Knights Valley and just love it.

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What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

#18 Post by Ian Dorin » December 20th, 2016, 7:11 am

Jim F wrote:
D@vid Bu3ker wrote:The top end Beringer wines are still really good.
Absolutely agree with that! Well, the cabernet and merlot. The chardonnay can be hit or miss depending on how oaky it can be.

I don't know how well the more recent releases will age. I had the 2012 Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet on release, and it kind of had a Caymus SS-esque edge to it that was really unappealing. It still maintained that classic dark, rich style, but the wine had almost no acid or tannin to it. I thought the Chardonnay was a clone of Rombauer, just gross and unappealing. I think for the price you pay for Beringer PR Cab now, there is simply way too much good wine to buy for the same price, or even in some cases, cheaper.
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What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

#19 Post by Nolan E » December 20th, 2016, 7:13 am

Ian Dorin wrote:
Jim F wrote:
D@vid Bu3ker wrote:The top end Beringer wines are still really good.
Absolutely agree with that! Well, the cabernet and merlot. The chardonnay can be hit or miss depending on how oaky it can be.

I don't know how well the more recent releases will age. I had the 2012 Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet on release, and it kind of had a Caymus SS-esque edge to it that was really unappealing. It still maintained that classic dark, rich style, but the wine had almost no acid or tannin to it. I thought the Chardonnay was a clone of Rombauer, just gross and unappealing. I think for the price you pay for Beringer PR Cab now, there is simply way too much good wine to buy for the same price, or even in some cases, cheaper.
That's how most 2012 Napa Cabs taste.
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What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

#20 Post by Mark Mason » December 20th, 2016, 7:53 am

What could anyone tell me about the Knight's Bridge Cabernet, different winery all together, but I am unable to find much info. Was recently gifted a 2011 Knights Bridge Cabernet Knights Valley.
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What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

#21 Post by Jim F » December 20th, 2016, 9:14 am

Ian Dorin wrote:
Jim F wrote:
D@vid Bu3ker wrote:The top end Beringer wines are still really good.
Absolutely agree with that! Well, the cabernet and merlot. The chardonnay can be hit or miss depending on how oaky it can be.

I don't know how well the more recent releases will age. I had the 2012 Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet on release, and it kind of had a Caymus SS-esque edge to it that was really unappealing. It still maintained that classic dark, rich style, but the wine had almost no acid or tannin to it. I thought the Chardonnay was a clone of Rombauer, just gross and unappealing. I think for the price you pay for Beringer PR Cab now, there is simply way too much good wine to buy for the same price, or even in some cases, cheaper.
Ian, I have not yet tasted the 2012, or the recently released 2013, although I own them. The 2010 I have tasted and did not strike me as you describe. I also have had the 2013 Beringer Winery Exclusive cab which I believe was from barrels earmarked for the PR but did not make the blend in the end, and I liked that wine a lot. And believe it will age. The PR cost? Yes, full price of $170 is goofy, but I thought the sale pricing (2012-$99) was reasonable. So, not to be argumentative, just not on the same page re: the cabernet. Chardonnay, yes. But have not yet tried the '12 cab, so, guess I need to.
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What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

#22 Post by lleichtman » December 20th, 2016, 10:45 am

Ian Dorin wrote:
Jim F wrote:
D@vid Bu3ker wrote:The top end Beringer wines are still really good.
Absolutely agree with that! Well, the cabernet and merlot. The chardonnay can be hit or miss depending on how oaky it can be.

I don't know how well the more recent releases will age. I had the 2012 Beringer Private Reserve Cabernet on release, and it kind of had a Caymus SS-esque edge to it that was really unappealing. It still maintained that classic dark, rich style, but the wine had almost no acid or tannin to it. I thought the Chardonnay was a clone of Rombauer, just gross and unappealing. I think for the price you pay for Beringer PR Cab now, there is simply way too much good wine to buy for the same price, or even in some cases, cheaper.
+1 Ian, couldn't agree more. Didn't think about the Camus SS until you mentioned it but, yeah your are quite correct. The Chardonnay was way beyond disappointing. Worse that Rombauer for me. Just oak and no other taste. Like chewing on a barrel.
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Re: What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

#23 Post by Arv R » September 8th, 2019, 7:19 pm

Jim F wrote:
December 18th, 2016, 7:40 pm
And the KV reserve is no great shakes or value. Too bad.
I finally got around to popping my only 99 Beringer 'Reserve' [Knights Valley]. I've had it over the last few days and the label states 14.1% abv with a few years of French oak with a 2002 release date. I picked it up from Hart Davis maybe a decade or so later, simply because I had not seen/tried one. It's a bit bigger/better than the ubiquitous Costco KV base wine. I think they take maybe 1% of vineyard lots for the selection, which seems to be sold in different channels (mailing list, tasting room?) but I have seen it (recent vintages now) at the ultra exclusive* retailer Total Wine ($55 on the shelf). No bricking at the edges, lots of brambly black berry fruit here, and its very apparent as a Cali cab. Despite the age, there is hardly any sediment, so perhaps it was treated before bottling. Finish is long, at least 30-40 seconds. I'm not a fan of the clunky, blocky base KV - especially in modern vintages - but this older one is nice. I'm not sure if the price tags of $50 and 20 years are something I'd feel like paying again, but - to my surprise - I enjoyed this more than I expected. I'd slot it into that tough B+/A- zone. Maybe on the higher side if tasted blind. It really screams North Coast cab though.

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Re: What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

#24 Post by John Glas » September 9th, 2019, 2:08 pm

Had a 2010 back in 2013 and was not impressed. I do remember these being good from the 90s.

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Re: What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

#25 Post by K John Joseph » September 9th, 2019, 2:14 pm

D@vid Bu3ker wrote:
December 19th, 2016, 7:12 pm
The top end Beringer wines are still really good.
Which ones? The Private Reserve has gone for a large lush profile that does not at all resemble the bordeaux esque wines of the 80s-90s. I still enjoy the 92-96s, which can be backfilled for a fairly reasonable price, but have been really disappointed by current styling.
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Re: What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

#26 Post by Victor Hong » September 10th, 2019, 6:29 pm

4632476D-6854-441B-9EDA-304B851F903C.jpeg
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Re: What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

#27 Post by Jim F » September 10th, 2019, 7:29 pm

Victor Hong wrote:
September 10th, 2019, 6:29 pm
4632476D-6854-441B-9EDA-304B851F903C.jpeg
Nice one, wish I had some left. FWIW, the 2016 is IMO the best one at least back to 2010, maybe more....but no 1991.
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Re: What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

#28 Post by Victor Hong » September 10th, 2019, 8:01 pm

I bought ten bottles last year for $30 each, but am down to just three, having drunk one last week at Gramercy Tavern.

The newer vintages do not suit my palate or wallet. Too big.
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Re: What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

#29 Post by Todd F r e n c h » September 10th, 2019, 8:52 pm

It's been our house cab for a while as Jen likes it and it's not super pricey. Often buy it at the Treasury Wine Event, used to be around $18/bottle. Now that I know Macario Montoya makes Educated Guess, that's likely to become the new house cab
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Re: What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

#30 Post by Ed Steinway » September 11th, 2019, 7:12 am

Costco was discounting the 2015 Beringer Knights Valley for $21.99 with an in-store coupon last month. Tried a glass a few weeks ago and it was very,very sweet, and not at all like the KV's from previous years.

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Re: What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

#31 Post by Victor Hong » September 11th, 2019, 10:10 am

Ed Steinway wrote:
September 11th, 2019, 7:12 am
Costco was discounting the 2015 Beringer Knights Valley for $21.99 with an in-store coupon last month. Tried a glass a few weeks ago and it was very,very sweet, and not at all like the KV's from previous years.

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Re: What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

#32 Post by rsmithjr » September 12th, 2019, 1:30 pm

I thought the 2015 was OK, but nowhere near as good as earlier vintages. It has gone sweeter on the flavor profile as many CA wines have.

I have a replacement though....... 18 a bottle....
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Re: What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

#33 Post by Chris Atkins » September 12th, 2019, 2:27 pm

What do you really expect from a large production corporate wine 🍷? Honestly this is slightly North of plonk!

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Re: What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

#34 Post by Victor Hong » September 14th, 2019, 5:49 pm

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Re: What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

#35 Post by B. Buzzini » September 14th, 2019, 6:14 pm

Victor Hong wrote:
September 14th, 2019, 5:49 pm
A191F750-FF3C-4E68-A876-25A9216ED29D.jpeg
Victor...you and I are on the same page regarding these early 90's Beringer wines! LOVE them...still going strong, and huge qpr when you find them being dumped on WB! Picked up 4 bottles of the 94 Alluvium recently..$20! [highfive.gif]

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Re: What happened to Beringer Knights Valley cabernet?

#36 Post by J a y H a c k » September 16th, 2019, 7:33 am

Paul Flynn wrote:
December 19th, 2016, 5:23 am
Haven't had a really stellar one of these made after the 90s.
My experience as well. I was at Beringer in 1996 or 97 and picked up a few and they were quite good, but the last few times I had the current vintages over the past decade and a half, they have reminded me of supermarket shelf cabernet.
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