Our Winery Exclusive wines allow us to create small lot offerings each vintage from unique vineyards where we can highlight both the varietal and the terroir of the region. These limited release wines are available only to guests of the winery and our wine club members, and often result in just a few barrels each vintage.
This classic golden Napa Valley Chardonnay offers ripe apple aromas and flavors typical of the Oak Knoll district offset by lemony citrus and meringue with yeasty buttered toast notes. Oak spice and vanilla give way to hints of caramel nougat and toasted hazelnut. Creamy and round in mouth-feel with bright acidity, the wine is elegant with a memorable, lingering finish.
Early season rains brought yields back to normal levels this year, mitigating the extended drought that afflicted most of California. A cool spring resulted in normal timing for bud break, in late March. Temperatures remained fairly cool in May and June, but high temperatures in July triggered an early start to harvest. Quality was solid for the vintage overall.
This Sterling Vineyards Chardonnay hails from the Oak Knoll region in the Napa Valley and includes fruit from both the Rodgers and Oak Knoll Vineyards. The Rodgers Vineyard, located south of the town of Yountville, is mainly Chardonnay clone 76 and 96. The Oak Knoll Vineyard is planted to the Robert Young Chardonnay clone as well as Prosser Clone 13. Both vineyards thrive in the warm valley location but also benefit from the cool nights the area sees due to fog that can creep up the valley from the San Pablo bay.
The Chardonnay fruit was harvested in the cool morning hours and sent directly to press at the winery. The fruit was barrel fermented with a classic tropical flavor inducing yeast in 100% French (53% new) oak barrels to impart rich texture and added spice notes. 100% of the chardonnay is allowed to go through secondary malolactic fermentation.
Director of Winemaking Harry Hansen was raised in nearby Sonoma County. “One of my earliest memories of wine was the gallon jug of red wine that we always had at home. I would go with my father to a local winery, maybe in Kenwood or Healdsburg, to refill that jug and chit-chat with the winery proprietors. The aromas of those wines were always something attractive, somehow mysterious, but always memorable.”
Harry joined Sterling Vineyards and relocated to Napa Valley just before the 2011 Harvest. “The opportunity to join such a respected Napa Valley winery is exciting and a fantastic next step in my winemaking career. Sterling Vineyards is making some wonderful wines, and I look forward to taking that next step up in quality and reputation.”
|Oak Treatment||100% French Oak Barrel fermented|