Sterling Vineyards offers an array of distinct and beautifully crafted wines. Sterling Reserve wines show the depth, strength and incredible diversity of the Napa Valley. These handcrafted, limited-production wines are passion projects for the Sterling winemaking and winegrowing teams, who seek the best Napa appellations and notable vineyards to craft exceptional wines. A Sterling Reserve wine represents the richest, most complex and compelling varietal expression.
"This is really great. Classic Napa cabernet with blackberries, currants, redwood, mushrooms and wet earth. Real mountain cabernet. Full-bodied, tight and framed. A beauty. Needs two or three years to open. Tiny production." - James Suckling, February 2020
“Starting off the two single vineyard releases, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Yates Family Vineyard comes from Mount Veeder and has classic mountain notes of black and blue fruits, scrub brush, forest floor, and dried earth. It's rich, medium to full-bodied, has plenty of structure, and a good finish. It's another wine here that's going to benefit from short-term cellaring and keep for 10-15 years." - Jeb Dunnuck, February 2020
"Made of 100% Cabernet Sauvignon aged 19 months in 80% new French oak, the deep garnet-purple colored 2015 Cabernet Sauvignon Yates Vineyard has a beautifully fragrant nose of violets and chocolate mint over a core of warm cassis, blackberry compote, dusty soil, tobacco and sandalwood. The palate is medium to full-bodied, firm and solidly structured with ripe, grainy tannins supporting the perfumed layers, finishing long." - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, October 2018
Mt. Veeder is known for producing fruit with intense tannins that result in age-worthy wines of distinction. Brighter red fruit led by wild mountain raspberry, bright cherry and darker fruits including blackberry are framed with oak spice, vanilla and caramel from the new oak. Wild yet refined, the grippy tannins give way to a wine with great structure and balance, solid acidity and a vibrant finish that lingers. This will continue to evolve and reveal itself over the next decade.
Winter rains helped signal the end of the immediate drought, but vineyards had grown stressed after multiple challenging years, resulting in modest yields for the season. A dry January was followed by a wet February, and temperatures remained mild, encouraging an early bud break to begin the growing season. Showers arrived in April, slowing the rapid advance of flowering and set. Early by historical standards, after harvest began picks moved at a leisurely pace as winemakers waited for ever more complex flavors to develop. The extended season helped balance acids and allowed layers of flavors to emerge.
The Yates Family vineyard is found moderately high, just above the town of Napa, planted at an elevation of 1,100 feet. Mt. Veeder is one of Napa's most unique AVAs, the southernmost and coolest growing region, known for an extended growing season and volcanic soils with a variety of micro climates. The vineyard is found at the end of Redwood Road, near the Archer Taylor Preserve managed by the Land Trust of Napa Valley. Vineyards were first planted here in the 1860s.
Fruit was hand-harvested and hand-sorted before final sorting in an optical sorter, selecting only the highest quality fruit for fermentation in a combination of concrete and stainless vessels. The concrete tanks, relatively new to the winery, offered a significant purity of expression. Fruit was allowed to ferment for up to 15 days with regular pump-overs to extract deep color and rich flavors. The wine was then gently pressed, racked and aged for 18 months in 100% new French oak from COF toasted medium/medium plus from a mix of coopers including Gamba, Remond, Taransaud, Allary and Quintessence.
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||18 months 100% French Oak|
|Blend||100% Cabernet Sauvignon|