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.
“Impressive freshness and fragrance with dark stony notes, iodine and Indian ink. Dried, roasted herbs and fresh cedary oak laced through ripe black fruits, too. The palate delivers a crisp, fresh and precise plaster-like texture. Fine but firm, long and deep black cherries, blackberries and dark plums. Some roasted coffee grounds to close. Terrific focus. Drink or hold.” - James Suckling, JamesSuckling.com
“Medium to deep garnet-purple in color, the wine opens with ripe plums, crushed blueberries and mulberries on the nose, with hints of pencil lead, cigar box and dusty earth. Medium to full bodied with a great, taut structure of grainy tannins and seamless acid, it fills the mouth with youthful complex flavors, finishing with some spices coming through.” - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate
“Dense and powerful, built for the long haul, with peppery dark berry, mocha, sage, cedar and underbrush flavors. Everything is pointing in the right direction. Best from 2021 through 2031.” - James Laube, Wine Spectator
Bancroft's forward fruit demonstrates the classic Cabernet flavor of ripe, sweet blackcurrant. The 2015 Bancroft Ranch was aged for 20 months in 65% new French oak barrels. Careful attention is paid to vineyard blocks, which are kept separate and vinified with a goal of extracting maximum flavor.
Yields were down in 2015 as a result of the continuing drought and further reduced by cold weather during flowering. However, a warm summer with almost no rain allowed for optimal ripening, and the resulting harvest, while small, was of outstanding quality. Grapes are small and packed with flavor and color, creating wines with excellent extraction and structure.
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.
With wines of this quality, a minimalist approach to winemaking is preferred to preserve the integrity of each site's expression of terroir. Vinifying the fruit from each vineyard separately, Mark used tailored pump-over techniques for optimal extraction, and then aged the wines in hand-selected, custom-toasted barrels of French Nevers oak from coopers with whom Beringer has long-established relationships.
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 20 months in 100% French oak (65% new)|
|Blend||100% Cabernet Sauvignon|