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 Oak Knoll Chardonnay is a luminous, light golden color in the glass with fragrant aromas of fresh lemon meringue, crisp apple, ripe pear along with toasted hazelnut. The inviting nose leads to a richly textured palate with flavors of citrus, stone fruit and a light vanilla character. The wine underwent 100% malolactic fermentation and was aged sur lie for 9-months with regular battonage, resulting in an elegant wine with creamy roundness and a persistent, flavorful finish.
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.
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 in 100% French (58% new) oak barrels to impart rich texture and added spice notes. The wine is elegant and shows a core of beautiful fruit character with balanced, bright acidity.
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|