When Beringer first planted the vineyard, the distinctive character of the grapes was immediately evident, and it was selected as a regular part of the Private Reserve blend beginning in the 1993 vintage. Robust tannins and an earthy finish make this a superlative display of Howell Mountain fruit.
“Although this has enormously deep blackberry character, the savory and smoky notes are every bit as important to this bold and highly structured cabernet. Giant concentration at the spectacular finish, but the tannins are already pretty well integrated. Such purity. Try to wait until at least 2021.” - James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com
“This is a grippy, powerful and densely built wine, robustly oaky and substantial in dark, brooding black fruit. The blackberry and cherry have a succulence that gives the wine a juicy core and soft midpalate, as a buildup of black pepper, graphite and smoke surround.” - Virginia Boone, Wine Enthusiast
“The 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Bancroft Ranch is dense, powerful and muscular on the palate, with tremendous depth and intensity in all of its dimensions. Beams of salinity and minerality give the 2016 its shape and overall sense of energy. Many of the 2016s are quite open, but the Bancroft Ranch needs quite a bit of time. The only question is how much.” - Antonio Galloni, Vinous
Distinctive, even decadent, this full-bodied plush wine is well-structured and balanced with complex aromas and flavors of dark fruits, milk chocolate, black cherry and licorice accented with herbal notes and baking spices. Soft but potent, it delivers a memorable, spicy finish.
The extended drought was beginning to cause concern as the 2016 growing season kicked off, but some welcomed winter rain hinted at the relief to come. After a relatively dry January we enjoyed significant rainfall in February, along with mild temperatures. Bud break was early, but was slowed by heavy April showers. While still early by historical standards, picking began about a week later than 2015, and continued at a leisurely pace, allowing the grapes to reach full flavor maturity. A traditionally sized harvest followed the lighter showing of 2015, and the extended season helped to balance the acids and add complexity to the layers of flavors. Warm temperatures arrived as harvest began, but ultimately, everything came together in the best possible way.
Howell Mountain rises just to the northeast of Beringer’s winery in Saint Helena, and Bancroft Ranch lies at an elevation of 1,800 feet on the western slope of the mountain. The soil here—gritty white tuff of volcanic origin—is shallow, infertile and extremely well drained. The vines produce small, intensely flavored berries with powerful, concentrated fruit flavors and thick skins that yield robust tannins. Bancroft’s forward fruit demonstrates the classic Cabernet flavor of ripe, sweet black currant.
The lots were kept separate through fermentation and aging to retain the individual terroir characteristics of each part of the vineyard. After gentle crushing and destemming, the juice and skins were sent to small fermenters where color, flavors and tannins were slowly extracted from the skins as vinification progressed. The wine was then aged in custom-toasted French Nevers oak barrels (50% new) for 20 months. The extended time in barrel allows the big, bold tannins in the Howell Mountain Merlot enough time to soften, and the aromas from the barrels become well integrated with the ripe fruit characteristics of the wine.
Mark Beringer, great-great-grandson of Beringer Vineyards' founding brother Jacob Beringer, was immersed in wine from the moment he was born in the heart of the Napa Valley. As the direct descendant to Beringer's first winemaker and one of the most iconic family names in Napa Valley wine history, he knew from a young age that he would follow in the footsteps of his ancestors. As a young man he spent many hours working in his family's wine store in Saint Helena, expanding his knowledge of wine as well as gaining an appreciation for wines outside of the famous region he has always called home.
|Oak Treatment||Aged 21 months in 100% French oak (100% new)|
|Blend||100% Cabernet Sauvignon|