Vintage 2016
Varietal Red Blend
Region California
Winemaker Harry Hansen

The Sterling Vintner’s Collection Dark Red is a decadent blend of two of the most alluring and rich red varieties: Merlot (65%) and Petit Sirah (35%).

Tasting Notes

The Sterling Vintner’s Collection Dark Red is a decadent blend of two of the most alluring and rich red varieties: Merlot and Petit Sirah. The deep garnet-colored wine opens with vibrant aromas of black plum, blackberry and warm cardamom spice. The velvety-textured palate is expansive with intense flavors of baked boysenberry, mocha and layers of mouthwatering juicy fruit. The well-integrated oak influence gives toasted vanillin notes and adds to the lengthy, flavorful finish.

Vineyards

Outstanding vineyards are the foundation for this wine. Carefully selected fruit from premier vineyards throughout California allow the winemaker to craft the best expression of the fine varieties used to make this unique blend. This includes an ideal mix of cooler, coastal fruit as well as grapes from the warmer, interior region of California. These growing areas work well together and offer unique growing conditions including long, warm, sunny days tempered by cool ocean breezes.

Vintage

2016 was another brilliant growing season for most of California, although prolonged drought conditions continued resulting in lower yields in the vineyards. The conditions throughout the growing season were consistent, even and warm with few unbearable, damaging heat spikes. California did experience a wet October, but most grapes were already picked and safely in the winery before the rains began. Overall, the quality and fruit characteristics in this vintage were very good with well-developed flavor profiles and excellent color development.

Winemaking

The Merlot and Petit Sirah grapes were picked at optimum ripeness and sent directly to the winery. Once in the winery, the grapes were cold soaked for two days followed by fermentation. The different varieties and lots were kept separate through the fermentation process and only came together at the final stage when the winemaker assembled the final blend before bottling. The wine was aged for six months in a combination of French and American oak to integrate flavors and soften tannins.
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