Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Beringer Bancroft Ranch Howell Mountain Merlot 1997

Having finished my law exams today I went directly to my cellar and pulled out a special wine I had been saving for just such an occasion. I've always wanted to try the Beringer Howell Mountain Merlot as I had heard from many sources I respect that it was one of the best Merlots in the Napa Valley. While it is hard to decide what is 'best' from amongst a region with tons of absolutely amazing merlots (check out Shafer, Twomey, Pride Mountain, Nickle and Nickle, and Duckhorn), the Beringer is a beauty of a wine that definitely lives up to its reputation.

The wine is a super-dark burgundy colour, even with 10 years age on it. A stunning nose with cassis and cedar wood notes. Upon drinking the wine explodes with super-intense cassis, blackberry, dark current, pine-needles, and cedar smoke. The mid-palate has an intense burst of rich fruit with perfect acidity and subtle oak. It develops into an incredibly evolving and long finish (at least 1-2 minutes). This merlot has an absolutely supple texture and a beautiful struture with perfect balance of fruit, oak, and tannin. It's drinking great right now, but I think it will probably continue to develop for a few more years. Pure hedonism.

$90 at BCLDB for a limited time

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