Beringer Vineyards has owned and farmed its Knights Valley vineyards since the mid-1960s, when the Beringer family recognized that the cobbled, rocky alluvial soils were a great place to grow high quality wine grapes. The Knights Valley designation was first used on a Beringer label in 1974. Beringer was instrumental in garnering official recognition for the area in 1983 as a premier wine growing region in the form of its own American Viticulture Area (AVA) designation.
Vintage & Vineyards
Vintage 2010 welcomed the return of rainfall to the region with annual precipitation averaging about twenty percent above average. With few exceptions, the growing season was slightly cooler than normal overall with healthy grapevines appellation-wide. Knights Valley was first acquired by Beringer in 1961, and to this day is a place of rustic and unspoiled beauty stretching for miles. Located just seventeen miles north of the winery in Sonoma County, it still has a bucolic feel—miles of rolling hills that meander down into a rocky, alluvial valley floor where a grand river used to run. Everything about the place gives one a sense of its uniqueness, including the wines it yields. For two decades, Laurie Hook has worked with the Knights Valley vineyard. Its isolation, tranquility and the slightly rough edges of its landscape have earned it a soft spot in her heart. She has spent many hours walking Knights Valley’s rocky terrain, watching the vineyards evolve and noting which blocks are particularly unique within the 600 acres Beringer has farmed for decades. Grapes for the 2010 Knights Valley Reserve were harvested between October 20th and October 27th.
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 aged in small French Nevers oak barrels (33% percent new) for fifteen months, enhancing the rich mouthfeel and structure. Laurie added a small portion of Cabernet Franc to round out the blend and add further complexities to this memorable wine.
L A U R I E ’ S T A S T I N G N O T E S
Bursting with black, bright fruit characteristics and caramel notes, the wine leads with vanilla, toffee and graphite followed by blackberry, white peppercorn, and roasted coffee. It has a saturated color, dense texture and chewy, layered tannins.