One of the top Merlots in the world, this wine has a quality that can only be described as all-around richness. Unlike some Merlots I've tasted, this wine from Bancroft has no hole in the middle.
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. Bancroft Ranch produces clusters with small berries whose high skin-to-fruit ratio results in well-structured wines with concentrated flavors. Winemaster Ed Sbragia produced the first vineyard-designated Bancroft Ranch Merlot from the 1987 vintage.
"One in a great while, Mother Nature allows you to create what I call a 'seamless' wine, one in which the fruit, the tannins and the oak are in perfect balance. None of these three aspects-the holy trinity of red winemaking-dominates. Instead, they work together to elevate the wine beyond expectations, even the optimistic ones winemakers have in a vintage this special. It comes being able to pick the fruit when the tannins are as mature as the grapes, and then letting both evolve in the right kind of barrel at the right level of toast. I love the way this wine tastes now-mouthfilling and full of ripe fruit, assertive and yet soft as velvet, all at same time. But I fully expect it to improve as it ages, not just stay alive. When is the right moment to enjoy this wine at its peak? Every time I get a chance!" -Ed Sbragia