Beringer Bancroft Ranch Merlot 1996

  • wa93
  • we92
  • ws88
Beringer Bancroft Ranch Merlot 1996

SKU 1846


Smaller-than-normal yields and especially warm weather in August produced highly concentrated grapes and the especially rich blueberry and blackberry aromas and flavors of this wine. 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. I've 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
Category Wine
Region California, Napa Valley, Howell Mountain
Brand Beringer
  • wa93

Wine AdvocateThe 1996 Merlot Bancroft Ranch was showing much better when I tasted it this year than it did eleven months earlier. The wine boasts a saturated purple color, as well as an exquisite nose of brandy-infused black cherries intermixed with melted chocolate. Dense and full-bodied, with striking sweetness and purity, this full-bodied, multi-layered Merlot has developed beautifully. Although it will benefit from another 4-5 years of bottle age, it can be drunk now, or cellared. It will keep for 15 years.

Robert Parker, December 1998
  • we92

Wine EnthusiastComplex, but tight and brooding. Dark earth, black plum, licorice, leather and smoke in the nose. Deep, full black-cherry and coffee flavors, but very subdued now. Emphasis on structure and intensity. Not an obvious wine, nor for cur-rent enjoyment, but a definite keeper. Needs 3 to 5 years.

March 1, 2000
  • ws88

Wine SpectatorSupple and well proportioned, with earthy currant, cedar, spice, coffee and anise flavors, turning elegant and polished on the finish.

James Laube, September 15, 1999