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.
The Sterling Vineyards Napa Valley Red Blend wine is a beautiful, crushed velvet red color in the glass. The pronounced nose gives bright aromas of fresh blackberry, raspberry jam and dark violet. On the palate, this medium-bodied wine is juicy, plush and soft. The wine offers complex layers of flavor with ripe currants, baked black cherry pie alongside spiced tea and sweet vanillin notes. The wine is beautifully structured with a lush texture, good body and well-integrated tannins.
The relatively even 2016 growing season followed welcome winter rains that eased California’s ongoing drought and gave vines plenty of moisture to pull from throughout the season. With no frost during bloom nor heat spikes during the summer, harvest was received with relative ease. The ripening season enjoyed cooler than average daytime highs with plenty of sunshine so fruit had lengthy hangtime and developed very good color and flavor concentration. The region’s typical area cold nights enabled the fruit to maintain excellent acidity.
The fruit for this wine comes from several vineyards in the Napa Valley including the BV Ranch #12 vineyard in Calistoga, the Gamble Ranch Vineyard in Oakville, and the Meigs Vineyard situated in rugged Wooden Valley. These three vineyards showcase the unique terroir of the Napa Valley and bring distinctive, flavorful, high-quality fruit to this beautiful red blend.
The grapes were hand harvested in the cool of early morning and transported to the winery, followed by a pre-fermentation cold soak for gentle extraction of the delicate varietal nuances. The grapes were fermented in a combination of stainless-steel, concrete and oak vessels. We chose to age the wine in a combination of French, American, and Hungarian oak barrels (65% new) 20 months to soften the tannins and showcase the pure fruit character.
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.”