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Date Printed: 10/21/2014
Beringer Howell Mountain Bancroft Ranch Merlot 1997
Beringer Howell Mountain Bancroft Ranch Merlot 1997
(search item no. 63)
collectible wine
older vintages

Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
PRICE ON 10/21/2014: $88.99

ratings pedigree (past vintages):
2006 International Wine Cellar rating: 91 points
2005 Wine Enthusiast rating: 94 points
2005 Wine Spectator rating: 93 points
2005 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2005 International Wine Cellar rating: 90 points
2002 The Wine News rating: 94 points
2002 International Wine Cellar rating: 92 points
2002 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
2001 Wine Spectator rating: 90 points
2001 The Wine Advocate rating: 90 points
1999 Wine Spectator rating: 88 points
1996 Wine Enthusiast rating: 92 points
1995 Wine Spectator rating: 92 points
1995 The Wine Advocate rating: 91 points
1994 The Wine Advocate rating: 92 points
1993 The Wine Advocate rating: 93 points

Winemaker's Notes:

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

My Notes:

Additional wines from Beringer Vineyards:

About Beringer Vineyards:

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.