Tasting Date: February 2011
Varietal: Cabernet Sauvignon
Country: Sonoma, California
Tasting Date Price: $26.99
Rating: WS 2008 88 WE 2006 84
Alcohol Content: 14.3%
Vineyard Website: click here
Visual Aspect: Deep rich red.
Nose: Intense and concentrated, with spicy, loamy earth, dried berry, sage and herbal
Palate: Jammy flavors of blackberries, cherries, raspberries, anise & smoky oak.
Food Pairing: To understand how wine interacts with food, we need to look at the food in terms of the simple elements of taste. Any specific dish will contain one or more of the five basic tastes: sweet, sour, salty, bitter and protein/umami. These dominant tastes in the food will have a profound effect on the taste of the wine. Beringer’s Wine and Food in Balance theory explains the result of these reactions: Sweet and protein/umami dominated foods reduce wine aromas and make wine textures (acidity, bitterness, astringency, and tannins) appear stronger Sour and salt dominated foods make wine textures milder (richer, smoother, sweeter) and can accentuate aromas.
Umami: You may not have heard about the fifth taste before. Don’t feel alone – many people haven’t. What is umami? Umami, which means savory, was discovered and isolated in 1908 by a Japanese food scientist. It is actually based on the taste of the amino acid glutamate, and of nucleotides. In 1997, at the University of Miami, the taste bud on the tongue that detects umami was finally found. It is a very important element in food and wine pairing because it is present in so many foods and creates a noticeable reaction with wine.
When the tastes in the food are balanced, with no one taste dominating another, the wine will remain relatively unchanged, just as the winemaker intended. This is our standard objective – finding the food/wine pairings that leave the wine tasting as close to the winemaker’s intention as possible.
Properly seasoned roasted, grilled, sauteed meats, poultry, seafood, Salt based ingredients: olives, capers, bacon/pancetta, preserved lemons, and cheeses like Feta Acid based sauces with proper seasoning: red or whited wine sauces, mustard sauces, lemon/lime sauces, vinegar based sauces (inaigrettes), verjus based sauces, Veal/poultry or seafood picatta with lemon and capers Soups, stews, ragouts, casseroles with salt based ingredients and acidity. Cheddar, gruyere, fontina
Winery Notes: Vineyards: Located 17 miles northwest of the winery, this vineyard has rocky, alluvial, well-drained soils that are perfectly suited to Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Sémillon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The Knights Valley designation was first used on a Beringer label in 1974. By 1983, this area had won official recognition as a premier wine growing region in the form of its own American Viticulture Area (AVA) designation. Today, Winemaker Laurie Hook uses these wonderful grapes to craft our renowned Beringer Knights Valley Cabernet Sauvignon.
Winemaking: To maintain the unique characteristics of the different lots from varying areas of the vineyard, Laurie kept them all separate through vinification and aging. Extended maceration created larger tannins to enhance the lush mouthfeel of the blend and extracted a maximum of color, aromas and flavors. The wines were then aged in small French Nevers oak barrels for roughly a year. After aging, Laurie blended the lots of Cabernet Sauvignon to highlight Knights Valley’s characteristically bright black cherry fruit. A bit of Merlot was added to round out the mid-palate, and a touch of Cabernet Franc lifts the aromatics of the wine and delivers an elegant finish.