Once better known as the Lemmon-Chabot vineyard, this site has been a mainstay for Beringer's prestige riserve collection over the years, and is justly famous for the wonderous cabernet sauvignon grown here. What makes the vineyard so special, and the wines that are made from it so long-lived and complex, is a unique soil type that is high in obsidian, a black glass-like rock that absorbs the sun and its warmth, and passes this onto the ripening grapes. Always worth seeking out, Beringer's Cabernet from the Chabot vineyard, can mature happily for upwards of 25 years.
90 points Wine Spectator: "Big, ripe, rich and tannic, packing in lots of currant, herb, cedar and spice notes and adding a toasty, smoky, woody overlay. An intense young wine that's firmer and more tannic than earlier Beringer Bancroft Merlots, but has a wonderful array of flavors." (08/93) According to Robert Parker: "Beringer continues to do everything right. Its staff of talented professionals may rank as the best in the business. Beringer's Merlot from the Bancroft Vineyard on Howell Mountain is one of the top three or four California Merlots. The dark ruby-colored 1990 Merlot-Bancroft Vineyard displays attractive spicy oak intermingled with scents of ripe red and black fruits, medium to full body, and a rich, sweet, long finish. It is less muscular than the nearly outstanding 1989." (10/93)
Ultrarich, with complex, exotic aromas, and a wonderful center of ripe currant, blackberry, mocha, sage and mineral. Holds its focus, and while firmly tannic on the finish, the tannins are ripe and polished.
With Cabernet of this quality, Ed and Laurie believe in taking a minimalist approach to winemaking. Vinifying the fruit from each vineyard separately, the winemaking team used tailored pump-over techniques for optimal extraction, and then aged the wines for approximately two years in hand-selected, custom-toasted barrels of new French Nevers oak from coopers with whom they have long-established relationships.