Beringer Bancroft Ranch Howell Mountain Merlot 1997
I first had this about one year ago. In fact it was one of my first reviews and was my first reviewed wine at my highest rating. So, it was very interesting to return to it again and see how it developed (I have 1 left for a rainy day).
This is a serious merlot. Soft dark and red fruits on the nose with caramel and scorched earth. This wine is just incredibly supple and has remarkably clean fruit anda telling full mouthfeel. While this has really subdued compared to last year, it was still very luscious, but has now taken on a very pretty component that is vaguely floral. Butter, nuts and fruit cake compliment the clean berry flavours.
The finish is a perfect microcosm of the wine itself – like drifting off to sleep on a pristine winter day, just before christmas, as sugar plums dance in your head. Perhaps Beringer should rename this “Ode to Saint Nick”. This has got to be one of my favourite all-time wines, and I’m not even that ‘into’ plenty of merlots.
$90 at BCLDB