Vintage 2015
Wine Type Red
Varietal Merlot
Region Napa Valley
Winemaker Mark Beringer

Beringer’s Bancroft Ranch vineyard is located at an elevation of 1,800 feet on Howell Mountain, a growing area with well-drained volcanic soils. In 1984, Howell Mountain became the first area within the Napa Valley appellation to be declared a separate viticultural area (AVA) for the distinct characteristics of its wine grapes and now it is home to several of Napa Valley’s most famous wines. Bancroft Ranch produces clusters with small berries whose high skin-to-fruit ratio results in well-structured wines with concentrated flavors.

93 Points - James Suckling

"Richly captured dark and red plums with mulberries and a purple rose-like floral edge, as well as nicely played oak spices. The palate has smoothly cut plum-flavored fruit flesh with a gentle thread of dark cherries and chocolate driving the supple, deep finish. Drink now or hold." - James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com, May 2018

93+ Points - Wine Advocate

“Deep garnet-purple in color, the 2015 Merlot Bancroft Ranch has a nose of preserved plums, mulberries and fruitcake with hints of Chinese five spice, menthol, espresso and black pepper with a waft of licorice. The palate is big, rich, soft and seductive, beautifully framing the voluptuous fruit with velvety tannins and ample freshness, finishing long and spicy.” - Lisa Perotti-Brown, Wine Advocate, October 2017

Tasting Notes

This Merlot opens with aromas of ripe red-berry fruit, mocha, espresso and toasted spice. A core of rich red and blue fruit is the foundation of this complex, well-structured wine. The wine’s developed tannins and solid structure along with depth of flavor concentration make this a favorite.

Vintage Note

Yields were down in 2015 as a result of the continuing drought and further reduced by cold weather during flowering. However, a warm summer with almost no rain allowed for optimal ripening, and the resulting harvest, while small, was of outstanding quality. Grapes are small and packed with flavor and color, creating wines with excellent extraction and structure.

Winemaking Notes

The lots remained separate through fermentation and aging to retain the individual terroir characteristics of each vineyard section. After gentle crushing and destemming, the juice and skins were sent to small fermentors where color, flavors and tannins were slowly extracted from the skins as vinification progressed. Aged in custom-toasted French Nevers oak barrels (53% new) for 21 months permits the big, Cabernet-like tannins of the Howell Mountain Merlot time to soften, and the barrel aromas to be well-integrated with the ripe fruit characteristics of the wine. Small percentages of Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon were added upon blending, to elongate the finish and add additional complexities to the blend.

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