Robert Parker - Wine Advocate
The 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.
Beringer does a superb job with its production from the Bancroft
Ranch on Howell Mountain. About 8,000 cases of their single vineyard
Merlot are produced. The wine spends 20 months in French oak coopered
by the well-known house of Seguin-Moreau.