Beringer "Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve Bancroft Ranch" Napa Valley 1997
Each year since 1981 Beringer Winemaster Ed Sbragia creates his Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon by choosing the most expressive fruit from a handful of vineyards. His ultimate goal is a wine with a complex aroma, flavor and structural profile that layers the individual vineyard characteristics into a cohesive and balanced whole. Individual lots of Cabernet Sauvignon from Bancroft Ranch, Tre Colline Vineyard (both on Howell Mountain), Chabot Vineyard, and St. Helena Home-all regular Private Reserve contributors-were blended with a small portion from the Marston Ranch on Spring Mountain.Vintage 1997 has already been recognized as exceptional within a decade of outstanding vintages, producing wines of deep concentration and rich tannins that promise longevity. The yields were generous, as were the flavors. Said vineyard manager Bob Steinhauer, "everyone seems to have focused on the size of the crop, but I've been more impressed with the quality. We saw spectacular fruit across the varietals." The grapes for this wine were harvested from September 12 through October 11.Ed hand-selected new thin-staved French oak (Nevers) barrels to match the wines. "Each barrel cooper brings out different nuances in oak and consequently the barrels can have distinctive personalities very much like vineyards," Ed explains. "I used a majority of barrels from the Nevers forest because I think it does a nice job of subtly integrating with the wine." The wines were aged for just over 22 months and Ed tasted them regularly to monitor their development. In deciding the final blend, he added 3% Cabernet Franc to elongate the finish. Intense black fruit and ripe plum aromas have an edge of smoky oak, Corsican mint and cedar spice. Dense, bright fruit flavors of ripe cherries, black currants and blackberries mingle with brown spices and cedar. A rich texture carries the fruit along to the back of the palate.Wine Advocate | Robert M. Parker, Jr. | 2000A sensational effort. The opaque plum/purple color is followed by a super nose of smoked herbs, melted licorice, and cassis jam. Full-bodied, with a silky texture, and an opulent personality, this sexy, full-throttle Cabernet Sauvignon will be delicious young, yet last for 18-20 years.Wine Spectator | October 31, 2001Showing hints of maturity, with a complex array of cedar, currant, dried cherry and anise flavors that turn supple and firms up nicely on the finish.
External Reviews for Beringer "Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserve Bancroft Ranch" Napa Valley
Production: 24 000 cases; Alcohol: 14%; Blend: 100% Cabernet Sauvignon; Harvest Dates: September 12 to October 11. A bountiful nearly perfect crop of consistently high quality grapes was created by flawless weather with moderate but steady temperatures throughout the summer and beautiful weather in September and October. The result is a great vintage in both quality and quantity. The fruit came from five separate vineyards Bancroft Ranch and Tre Colline on Howell Mountain Chabot and St. Hele
Creamy blackberry cassis toasty oak and vanilla aromas lead off. This elegant wine is loaded with additional flavors redolent of licorice tobacco spice and dense berries. It s all couched in supple velvety tannins. Long and lush at the end. Wine Enthusiast.