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.
"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.
"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 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.
The Wine Advocate
"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."
International Wine Cellar