The Sterling Vineyards Carneros Pinot Noir is a bright ruby red color in the glass. Aromas of fragrant red cherry, cranberry and rose petal are pronounced on the nose. The appealing bouquet leads to a juicy and flavorful palate where the bright red fruit flavors work well alongside toasted caramel and smoke notes from the oak barrel influence. This plush Pinot Noir is well-balanced with fine, silky tannins, excellent fruit concentration and bright acidity that is indicative of the cooler Carneros region.
Known to produce exceptional Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the Los Carneros American Viticultural Area straddles Napa and Sonoma Valleys and is the coolest region in these valleys. It forms a long strip at the northern edge of the San Pablo Bay, where persistent winds and fog blow in off the water, maintaining low overall temperatures. This allows the grapes to ripen slowly, developing complexity and retaining a vibrant acidity. The thin, shallow soils are clay and loam with poor drainage and low fertility. In this environment, the vines struggle, thus developing low yields of intensely flavored fruit with good acidity and complexity. The grapes for the 2016 Carneros Pinot Noir are from the spectacular BV Ranch 5 vineyard in the heart of Carneros.
2016 was a very mild and consistent vintage for the majority of Napa Valley. Although California’s drought brought another dry winter, the growing season started with a warm, dry spring and relatively early bud break. Temperate Summer weather remained mild and even throughout, with no rainfall during harvest. Overall, yields were lower than expected due to continued drought conditions but the quality of fruit and resulting wines are of excellent quality.
Grapes for the 2016 Carneros Pinot Noir were harvested between 8/24 and 9/6/16.
The Pinot Noir grapes were harvested at optimum ripeness in the cool morning hours. At the winery, the fruit was cold soaked for 3 days followed by fermentation in temperature controlled stainless steel tank to preserve the delicate nature of the fruit and to retain freshness. 100% French oak barrels (43% new) were used for aging the wine 9 months imparting added complexity and structure to the final wine.