Beringer is one of my favorites. Even prohibition couldn't put the winery under the table, so to speak. Mrs TWC and I still have the empty bottle of 1980 Beringer Knights Valley that we enjoyed with dinner the night of our engagement, which now auctions for $75.00 or so.
Beringer is another big corporate winery that defies the logic and consistently puts out a good product. Never mind that the capital is generated by that ghastly White Zin. Yes, part of Beringer's success is connected to the prodigious quantities of White Zin it sells year after year. Doubtless the Cabs and Chards we enjoy from Beringer are all the better as a result of the capital investment that sales of White Zin provide.
The 2001 Knights Valley is a pretty good wine although it is not a stellar performer. Given a choice, TWC wouldn't hesitate to swap it out for the less expensive 2003 St Francis Cabernet, also a Sonoma cab.
This is a dry, somewhat full bodied wine more in the style of Bordeaux than Sonoma. It does well with a lot of air. Let it breath for a while and you'll find the smokey, leathery, mild aromas and tastes with some minerals on the back side (the finish).
If you are after big fruit, it isn't here, you'll have to go with Beringer's 2002 instead. At $17.00-$25.00 US, I wouldn't knock myself out to find the 2001 either, because, simply put, there are a number of other really good wines at comparable prices. That's not to say this is a lousy wine because that would be a gross injustice. To paraphrase myself, I've had better wine for less money and worse wine for more money. In the wine market, the correlation between cost and quality isn't always as apparent as you would suspect.
Eminently drinkable now, the 2001 probably isn't going to get better in your cellar. Serve it with something interesting like spicy roast pork and broccoli salad.
The Wine Commonsewer
tip of the glass to Cookin' With Cyndi for the Broccoli Salad recipe
2 crowns fresh broccoli, cut in bite-sized pieces
1/2 c shredded cheddar cheese
1 c seedless red grapes, sliced in half
1/4 c raisins
1/3 c diced purple onion
1/3 c pine nuts
1/3 c real bacon bits (4 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled)
1/2 c mayonnaise
1/4 c sugar or Splenda
1 T cider vinegar
Mix all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Mix dressing ingredients and toss with salad.