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.
Alluring and complex, with a sensuous offering of tropical fruits, white flowers and subtle spice. The nose starts modestly but grows with ripe lemon, white peach and orange blossom followed by notes of toast and white pepper. On the tongue, lemon bursts forward with pineapple and other tropical fruit, with undertones of vanilla. The finish is bright and zingy and mellows with vanilla and subtle spices in its length.
The extended drought caused concern as the 2016 growing season began, but welcomed winter rain hinted at the relief to come. Following a relatively dry January significant rainfall arrived in February, along with mild temperatures. Bud break was early, but was slowed by heavy April showers. While still early by historical standards, picking began about a week later than 2015, in mid-September. A traditionally sized harvest followed the lighter vintage of 2015, and the extended mild season helped balance the acids and add complexity to the fruit.
We crafted this wine from some of our finest Sauvignon Blanc blocks, primarily from our Calistoga estate vineyards. Located at the northern end of Napa Valley, these vineyards experience warm days with a cool snap each evening. Perfect for this varietal, these conditions encourage a lush, ripe character and fragrant aroma development. The Viognier was sourced from the famous Robert Young Vineyard, located in the north central Alexander Valley of Sonoma County. Sourcing: Larsen Ranch (Sauvignon Blanc from Calistoga), Calistoga Ranch (Sauvignon Blanc from Calistoga), Robert Young Vineyard (Viognier from Alexander Valley)
Our Winemaker's Select White Blend is the culmination of our finest grapes, combined with meticulous winemaking and extensive blending. 'The goal with this wine is to create an exquisite balance between fruit expression, rich mouthfeel and an elegant oak impact,' says Winemaker Harry Hansen. We used small-lot barrel fermentation for a majority of the wine, stirring the lees every two to three weeks. This warmer fermentation in lightly toasted barrels brings out rich tropical notes in the Sauvignon Blanc and leaves complex layers of spice.
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% barrel fermented, 39% French oak barrel, 16% French Oak puncheon, 45% stainless steel barrel, 23% new oak, 9 months in barrel|
|Blend||89.5% Sauvignon Blanc, 10% Viognier, .5% Pinot Blanc|