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. Helena Home Vineyard, and for the first time, a small portion came from the Marston Ranch on Spring Mountain. Still densely purple-colored, the 1997 exhibits wonderful plum, blackberry, cedar, spice and subtle smoky oak notes, a gorgeously opulent texture, full-bodied power and hints of roasted espresso and white chocolate in the flavors. This beauty can be drunk now and over the next 12-15+ years. One of the all-time great Beringer Cabernet Sauvignon Private Reserves, it also has the highest production to date of this cuvee. (RP)
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.
(14% alcohol; 19% Chabot, 19% St. Helena, 16% Bancroft, 33% Steinhauer, 9% Marston and 4% Cabernet Franc): Saturated ruby-red. Aromas of blueberry liqueur, violet, licorice and menthol. Fat, rich and full, displaying generous, lush flavors of raspberry and dried spices. This voluminous wine is a bit aggressive without coming across as hot. As round and sweet as it is, it also possesses substantial, late-arriving, dusty tannins and plenty of supporting acidity--actually higher than the 1995, according to Laurie Hook. Production of this bottling was the highest ever at 24,125 cases (ST)
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