Beringer Bancroft Ranch Merlot 1996
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.
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.
Wine SpectatorSupple and well proportioned, with earthy currant, cedar, spice, coffee and anise flavors, turning elegant and polished on the finish.