Beringer Howell Mountain Bancroft Ranch Merlot 2001
Bancroft Ranch Merlot has a quality I can only describe as all-around richness. Unlike some Merlots I've tasted, the wine from Bancroft has no hole in the middle. It delivers a consistent message from the first waft of its characteristic aromas through its long finish. I think this richness comes mostly from the concentrated blackberry and blueberry flavors but also partly from a kind of earthy quality typical of the vineyard. Underlying these flavors are more subtle notes of anise, tobacco and leather. Ive found that these flavors become more pronounced as the wine ages and evolves, which makes me eager to monitor this vintage well into the next century. -Ed Sbragia, Winemaster
Critical AcclaimAll Vintages
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.
As Napa Valley’s third most planted grape, Napa Valley Merlot shows time and time again its potential to produce exceptional results. Napa’s vaunted combination of climate, soil and the human factor of winemaking expertise lead to big, ripe, cellar-worthy and world-class versions.
Whether made by itself in single varietal bottlings or as an important role in Bordeaux Blends, Merlot continues a prominent role in this famous region. While Cabernet typically takes the lead role, Merlot’s contribution—even at 10% to 20% or so—is significant indeed. Often described as “the flesh on Cabernet’s bones,” Merlot lends a soft, round and plush character that beautifully complements Cabernet’s linear, full-throttle structure. Its flavors of plums plus subtle herbs and mint also dovetail nicely with Cabernet’s blackberry and cassis.