Beringer Howell Mountain Bancroft Ranch Merlot 2005
Merlot from Napa Valley, California
This vineyard, and the relationship we've had with the Bancroft family, has always been deeply special to Ed and myself. We've been making a vineyard-designated Bancroft Ranch Merlot since the 1987 vintage when Ed first demonstrated how fantastic Merlot can be when planted in the right place. Bancroft Ranch consistently produces grapes with amazing concentration of flavors, tannins and structure. The 2005 Howell Mountain Merlot is an exceptionally complex wine, full of espresso and dark cherry aromas that lead into a rich ripe black fruit flavors with hints of cedar and orange rind, brown spice and mint. It has tremendous body, complex layers of black fruit, and a supple, lingering finish.
Wine Enthusiast - "Gigantic, huge. Just erupts with the most intense cassis, chocolate and smoky new oak. Classic Howell Mountain structure, with dense, sweet young tannins and firm acidity. So immature, it’s sappy and jammy now, and is sorely in need of cellaring. Don’t touch before 2011, and should provide enjoyment for many years after.
Wine Spectator - "Plush, refined and impeccably structured. Offers bold aromas of black cherry, bittersweet chocolate and toasty cedar, with rich, complex red currant, licorice and mineral flavors that finish with a flourish of ripe tannins."
The Wine Advocate - "The outstanding 2005 Merlot Bancroft Ranch represents Merlot at its finest. Sexy, chocolaty, black cherry and berry fruit intermix with loamy soil and coffee bean nuances, and are impressively presented in this full-bodied, attractive, elegant Merlot. It should drink nicely for a decade or more. "
International Wine Cellar - "Good red-ruby. Very ripe aromas of plum, cinnamon, cedar and mocha. Creamy-sweet and lush, with good depth to the plum and graphite flavors. Finishes with big, slightly rough tannins that reach the molars. From vines replanted in 1993."
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No winery or vineyard more thoroughly embodies the timeless appeal and seductive flavor of Napa Valley than Beringer Vineyards, Napa's benchmark producer since the establishment of the vineyard in 1876.
Now in its third century of crafting classic wines from Napa's finest appellations and vineyards, Beringer today is guided by the inspired partnership of celebrated Winemaster Emeritus Ed Sbragia and Winemaker Laurie Hook. Together, they craft Napa Valley wines that speak eloquently of the rich heritage of the Beringer Vineyard, while offering cutting-edge quality and contemporary elegance. The exquisite wines crafted at the Beringer Vineyards display a single minded dedication and pursuit of excellence instilled by its founder, Jacob Beringer. View all Beringer Vineyards Wines
About Napa ValleyView a map of Napa Valley wineries
It's hard not to think of Napa Valley when thinking of California wines. The region is, after all, the one that brought world recognition to California wine making. The area was settled by a few choice wine families in the 1960's who bet that the wines of the area would grow and flourish. They were right. The Napa wine industry really took off in the 1980's, when vineyard lands were scooped up and vines were planted throughout the county. A number of wineries emerged, from large conglomerates to small boutiques to cult classics. Cabernet Sauvignon is definitely the grape of choice here, with many winemakers also focusing on Bordeaux Blends. Whites are usually Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc.
Notable FactsWithin the Napa Valley lie smaller sub-AVAs that lend even more character specifics to the wines. Furthest south is Carneros, followed by Yountville, Oakville & Rutherford. Above those two is St.-Helena and finally, just grated an AVA, Calistoga. These areas are situated on the valley floor and are known for creating rich, smooth Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay. There are a few mountain regions as well, nestled on the slopes overlooking the valley AVAs. Those include Howell Mountain, Stags Leap and Mount Veeder. Wines from the mountain regions are often more structured and firm, benefiting from more time in the bottle to evolve and soften.
About CaliforniaIt's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Customer ReviewsSign In to Add Your Review4 }div>4.1 out of 5 stars
- 5 Stars: 3
- 4 Stars: 4
- 3 Stars: 2
- 2 Stars: 0
- 1 Stars: 0
9 ratings, 6 with reviews49/13/2012Multi layered delight - complex for a merlot54/20/2012
- Big & Bold
Beautiful soft, supple, easy drinking merlot.51/27/201241/25/2012
- Smooth & Supple
Vibrant and silky on the palate. It's in perfect balance giving hints of vanilla and pure red fruit flavors. Still tight and should put on weight over the next couple of years.31/16/2012412/13/2011
- Smooth & Supple
Feels good on the tongue with a nice long finish.311/9/2011
- Big & Bold
I enjoyed the 2005 very much and did buy more. Especially at the 34 dollar price I got it for. I'm not a huge fan of merlots but this Merlot was similar to cabs or syrah.Mobidude - Alamo, CA510/21/2011
- Big & Bold
An outstanding value. Clearly one of the best merlots in the world.
- Big & Bold
- Pair With
- Pasta > Meat
Alcohol By Volume GuideMost wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
- Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
- Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
- Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
- Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.
- 5 Stars: