Looking toward the West Bench of Yountville, snug upon the Mayacamas mountain range, the distinct profile of a woman at rest on her side framed by distinctive foothills explains the name of this meticulously farmed vineyard. There are multiple clones of Cabernet Sauvignon planted in small blocks across 50 acres here, including several favorites of winemaker Harry Hansen. He often selects blocks with Clone 2, known for small clusters and small, intensely flavored berries with a history in Napa and Sonoma dating to the 1880s, aromatic Clone 22 and Clone 30, with local roots in the Stags Leap District from the See Ranch.
“Wild, flamboyant red with black-truffle and ripe-berry character. Violets, too. Full-bodied and tannic, yet it spreads across the palate and you almost don’t notice it. Blackberries. Shitake mushrooms. So long and polished. A great wine. Try after 2022, but already gorgeous.” - James Suckling, February 2020
“From a vineyard that's getting more and more recognition, the deep purple-hued 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Sleeping Lady Vineyard offers a dark, earthy bouquet that includes plenty of currant and plum fruits, leafy herbs, and damp soil. It's nicely balanced, medium-bodied, comes up a touch short on depth and richness, yet has solid length. It's going to keep for 10-15 years." - Jeb Dunnuck, February 2020
"Made from 100% Cabernet Sauvignon, the 2016 Cabernet Sauvignon Sleeping Lady Vineyard is deep garnet-purple in color. It has bold, forthright notes of black cherry compote, black raspberries, warm cassis and plum preserves with hints of sautéed herbs, cedar chest, unsmoked cigars and garrigue. Medium to full-bodied, the palate is packed with muscular black fruits, framed by firm, grainy tannins, finishing with a compelling herbal lift. 250 cases were made.” - Lisa Perrotti-Brown, August 13th, 2020
Always intense with plentiful tannins, Sleeping Lady Cabernet is a poster child for Napa Valley with great structure and beautiful complexity. Aromas and flavors of blue fruits led by blueberry and floral notes of violet and lavender. Balancing vanilla and a touch of oak spice frame a plush mouthfeel with a soft, lingering finish.
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.
Looking toward the West Bench of Yountville, snug upon the Mayacamas mountain range, the distinct profile of a woman at rest on her side framed by distinctive foothills explains the name of this meticulously farmed vineyard. There are multiple clones of Cabernet Sauvignon planted in small blocks across 50 acres here, including several favorites of winemaker Harry Hansen, who often selects blocks with Clone 2, known for small clusters and small, intensely flavored berries with a history in Napa and Sonoma dating to the 1880s, aromatic Clone 22 and Clone 30, with local roots in the Stags Leap District from the See Ranch.
Fruit was hand-harvested and hand-sorted, selecting only the highest quality fruit for fermentation in a combination of French oak tanks and stainless vessels. Fruit was allowed to ferment for up to 20 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 90% 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 in 90% new French oak|
|Blend||100% Cabernet Sauvignon|