Beringer has been making a vineyard-designated Bancroft Ranch Merlot since the 1987 vintage, and both the vineyard and the relationship with the Bancroft family are deeply special. 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.
“Deep garnet-purple in color, with 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 Perrotti Brown, Wine Advocate
“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
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.
Early, a bit challenged by the cumulative impact of the drought years, but exceptional in quality for the smaller amount of fruit that was harvested. That’s the story of the 2015 growing season. A mild winter caused early bud break, followed by protracted bloom and unseasonably cool weather in spring, contributing to smaller grape clusters and variable crop size.
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. The flavors are further enhanced by the climate: the vineyard is about 5 to 10 degrees cooler than the valley floor but experiences more hours of sunshine over the course of a day because it is above the fog belt. This allows for both extended hang time and slow, even flavor development. Beringer has been making a vineyard-designated Bancroft Ranch Merlot since the 1987 vintage, and both the vineyard and the relationship with the Bancroft family are deeply special.
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 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.
Mark Beringer, great-great-grandson of Beringer Vineyards' founding brother Jacob Beringer, was immersed in wine from the moment he was born in the heart of the Napa Valley. As the direct descendant to Beringer's first winemaker and one of the most iconic family names in Napa Valley wine history, he knew from a young age that he would follow in the footsteps of his ancestors. As a young man he spent many hours working in his family's wine store in Saint Helena, expanding his knowledge of wine as well as gaining an appreciation for wines outside of the famous region he has always called home.
|Oak Treatment||Aged 20 months in 100% French oak (50% new)|